BWW Reviews: Boulder's Dinner Theatre Presents Toe-Tapping Enthusiasm in 42nd STREET

The glamour, spectacle and fashion of 1930's Broadway come alive in 42nd STREET at Boulder's Dinner Theatre playing now until February 16th. Aspirations, hopes and dreams of love and success along the Great White Way tap their way across their stage. 42nd STREET is an unforgettable tap-dancing extravaganza featuring a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and music by Harry Warren. The 1980 Broadway production claimed the Tony Award for Best Musical, followed by a 2001 win by the Broadway revival for Best Revival. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and the subsequent 1933 film adaptation, 42nd Street is the classic story of a young dancer, Peggy Sawyer, who arrives in New York City with 40 cents in her pocket and a big dream to star on Broadway.

First I must comment on the food which was satisfyingly tasteful. Be sure to indulge while you are out with the delicious prime rib with mashed potatoes and vegetables and save room for the chocolate cherry cheesecake (Bordeaux cherry-infused cheesecake topped with chocolate) that is sinfully good. The preview for Church Basement Ladies was cute, but I was wondering why they didn't have fun bedazzled aprons to make the song pop. Remember - if you are going to see a number for the next show - SELL the number! This show was wonderfully executed and hit the ground tapping. This featured some fierce talents in tap and I sat there amazed at several of the numbers. My only wish is that they could have upped the floor mic levels a little more, but what can I say I'm a hoofer and love that thundering clacking sound. All in all, this feel good musical about the underachiever realizing her dreams just brought a smile to my face (and the audience also). One thing that this show desperately needed was a giant toe-tapping encore. Now, in my opinion, 42nd STREET always ended on an odd note where there is a heartwarming, romantic ending and not a tapping grand finale. That is why you should come out for the curtain call tapping, it is the difference between being satisfied and envigorated.
Kate Ulrich as Peggy Sawyer was goofy, funny, and awkward in her endearing performance which made her instantly likable. Her tapping is something to behold and at times she was hoofing so fast that I could not even see her feet. Another fine performance from this adorable talent! Alicia Dunfee as the diva supreme Dorothy Brock. was also exceptional and melodramatic. Brian Norber as her suitor, Abner Dillon was over the top and so funny. Bob Hoppe as the skilled choreographer, Andy Lee was fun to watch and Joanie Brosseau was adorable as the matron to everyone - Maggie Jones. John Scott Clough as the director Julian Marsh was dynamic and commanding in his performance. Johnny Stewart as Peggy's crush, Billy Lawlor was also quite an amazing tapper and magnetic and engaging in this role. I must also mention Tracy Warren as Anytime Annie, Meggan Herod as Phyllis, Tracy Zimmerman as Lorraine and Julia Perrotta as Ethel who were simply delightful and quite the talented tappers that was enjoyed by all.
Choreographer Tracy Warren was truly remarkable in her interpretation of this classic. She kept the energy up and the tapping was extraordinary. Costume Design Linda Morken brought such variety and color to this show and the costumes were wonderful. The set by designer Amy Campion was simplistic and effective in its design. I loved the multi-levels and the mini-sets were just fun. Sound designer Wayne Kennedy was right on to mic the floor for this dazzling tapping show; and the lighting by design Rachael Dugan enhanced this stellar performance. Director Michael J. Duran really captured the feel-good essence of this musical and along with Music Director Neal Dunfee cast some amazing talent for this triple-threat production.
So forget Buffalo, shuffle off to Boulder to see this charismatic and skillfully executed show! 42nd STREET is a true delight in performance and dance and a must see. This family favorite is playing at Boulder's Dinner Theatre now until February 16th. For tickets or more information, contact the BDT box office at 303-449-6000 or online at

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From This Author Michael Mulhern

Michael Mulhern has lived in Denver and been active in it's theater scene for over 10 years. He is originally from Wiesbaden, Germany and graduated (read more...)