BWW Review: 42ND STREET at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
Set in 1933, the musical 42nd Street follows a cast directed by Julian Marsh (David L. Wygant) rehearsing to open the show "Pretty Lady." We join the show as the cast is about to meet their star performer, Dorothy Brock (Heather McClain) whose star and financial powers have secured her the lead role despite her inability to dance. Through many different misunderstandings Ms. Brock is unable to perform and a new starlet, Peggy Sawyer (Lisa Kay Carter), is given a chance to shine.
The opening number is just a glimpse into what the ensemble brings to this production and the stunning image at the top of the show conjures a nostalgia for the good ol' days. With quick stepping feet and challenging dances, choreographed by Kate Vallee, the ensemble fills the stage with high energy, holding nothing back in numbers like, "42nd Street," "Dames," and of course "Lullaby of Broadway."
Along with those dancing feet comes an impeccable sense of humor. Annie (Mary McGroary) is a hilarious and vivacious edition to the performance bringing wonderful dance routines like "Shuffle off to Buffalo" and leading the cast in support and compassion when the show is in dire straits. Billy (Parker Redford) is an excellent male ingénue, supporting his leading lady through incredible tap numbers and practically bringing the show to a stop in his solo number, "Dames."Peggy Sawyer (Lisa Kay Carter) and Dorothy Brock (Heather McClain) have an electric energy on stage and it's clear why both were considered to be the lead star. McClain's Dorothy is a picture of old world class and stage presence. Her hardened exterior and knowledge of the business provides the perfect foil for Carter's Peggy. Lisa Kay Carter's Peggy Sawyer is a great example of innocence and drive for performing. She is a shining light on the stage and brings a vitality numbers like, "The Montage" and "The 42nd Street Ballet."
As for the star of 42nd Street, David L. Wygant (Julian Marsh) commands the stage with focused intent, motivating the actors to see his vision and bring it to life. His presence is reassuring and as he overcomes the hurdles thrown at him we see how inspirational he is to his troupe in numbers like, "Lullaby of Broadway." An interesting take on the character was the choice to downplay the romantic chemistry between Peggy Sawyer and Julian Marsh. While the choice brought a clearer direction for Marsh's motives I felt that there was perhaps some tension missing from some of their more intimate scenes.
The costuming for 42nd Street, designed by Debbie Faber, brought each character to life. With the color scheme and movement of each piece the stage popped and the eyes were given a feast. Scenic designer M. Curtis Grittner filled the space with large realistic set pieces fully emphasizing the spectacle about to be presented. To top it off Director Pat Payne creates breath taking images, starting from the very minute the actor's hit the stage. He uses the space to its fullest potential and his show is a sensational night of entertainment
Candlelight Dinner Playhouse' production of 42nd Street was a beautiful spectacle perfectly suited for the dinner theater space.
42nd Street runs through June 4th, 2017 at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Dinner and show tickets can be purchased by calling Candlelight's box office - 970-744-3747 or online at www.ColoradoCandlelight.com.
Photo Credit: Garland Photography