BWW Review: 42nd STREET at Fulton Theatre
The Fulton Theatre did a really smart thing. Last night was the opening for their seasonal musical, 42nd Street, the tried and true tale of a chorus girl who gets her big break through determination, luck, and a lot of talent. One of the main themes of the story is "the show must go on." And for the Fulton, it did!
Lancaster City was hit with a record setting, half foot of snow earlier in the day. While dozens of other local businesses closed early. Marc Robin and his team made the call to heed the show's advice, faced adversity, and put on one Hell of an opening night!
Due to the weather, the audience was relatively sparse. (I had the entire second row to myself.) But what the audience lacked in numbers, it made up for in appreciation. The night was filled with thunderous applause and wild cheering. It was one of those great examples of how live theater creates a special bond between audience and performers. Everyone there made a great effort to brave the storm, and the audience was very vocal in their appreciation throughout.
Sarah Quinn Taylor stars as ambitious dancer, Peggy Sawyer. Taylor has immense natural talent as a dancer, especially in the tap numbers. She goes through her numbers with ease and confidence. Tom Galantich plays the esteemed Broadway director, Julian Marsh who is looking to put together the next big show. He reluctantly hires diva, Dorothy Brock (Denise Whelan) as his star. Whelan does a great turn as an insecure performer past her prime. She plays her with significant depth, and is much more than the cardboard villain of the piece.
Other stand-outs from the cast include Charis Leos as Maggie Jones, one of the composers of the show within a show, and Peter McClung as Abner Dillon, the wealthy cowboy producer. Both Leos and McClung are hilarious, and are a joy to watch any time they are on stage.
42nd Street is best known for "those dancing feet", and this show is no exception. The 26 members of the ensemble are amazing. Marc Robin is to be commended for his dazzling choreography. The tap dancing is precise and crisp. The company moves in unison with tremendous energy and killer smiles.
The often under-appreciated orchestra must also be recognized for their great talents and contributions to the show. In some of my past reviews, I have neglected to draw sufficient attention to the musicians, but this is no reflection on what they bring to the show. For that, I am sorry. I think it might have to with the pit being hidden under the stage. Unfairly, out of sight, out of mind.
42nd Street runs now through December 30th. It is a toe-tapping, good time for all ages. Maybe if you are good, Santa will bring you a couple of tickets for Christmas. In the meantime, more information can be found at their website.