Review Roundup: 42ND STREET at The Ogunquit Playhouse; What Did The Critics Think?
Come and meet those dancing feet! The ultimate tap-dancing, show-biz musical sensation, 42nd Street celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make magical musical theatre hits the Ogunquit Playhouse stage June 19 through July 13.
The Ogunquit production is staged by Tony Award-nominee Randy Skinner, the creator of the Broadway revival and recent West End production of 42nd Street. The tap-dancing extravaganza stars Broadway's Rachel York as Dorothy Brock, Steve Blanchard as Julian Marsh, Jessica Wockenfuss as Peggy Sawyer, Con O'Shea-Creal as Billy Lawlor, and features Emmy-Award-Winner Sally Struthers as Maggie Jones. The Ogunquit production of 42nd Street also features the Lawrence Olivier-nominated and Tony-nominated costumes by Roger Kirk along with Douglas Schmidt's Tony-nominated sets.
Tickets are on sale now. Preview performances start at $36 and economy seats start at $51 each. To learn more about becoming a Playhouse member, or to purchase tickets and gift cards, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.orgor call the Ogunquit Playhouse Box Office at 207-646-5511
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Dan Marois, BroadwayWorld: The show is a fast-paced ride of witty lines, theatrical stereotypes, and dance number after glowing dance number. The stage explodes with tap routines in "We're in the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," and the signature tune, "Forty Second Street." I imagine it is difficult enough to learn a tap routine. This show ups the ante by having folks perform on small platforms, on the expansive stage, and on an imposing staircase where one trip of the shoe could lead to disaster. Director/Choreographer, Randy Skinner, packs everything into this tight production. The dance numbers dazzle, the melodic tunes joyful, and the elements of stage design and lighting lead to wonderful backdrops for a very talented cast.
Blanchard. as the director, commands attention creating a dominating character with vocal prowess that's strong and theatrical. York, as the fading diva, strikes a chord like a Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard," with a fabulous singing range and a striking presence and personality. This duo grounds the production with extensive stage experience.
Steve Feeney, Press Herald: York is a luminous presence as the attention-demanding diva of the show-within-the-show. As her character begins to reveal more of a sensitive side, York lends her considerable star power to such numbers as "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "About a Quarter to Nine," the latter in duet with Wockenfuss. Blanchard gives an arch tone to his patriarchal director but comes down to earth on the sweet and sentimental "Lullaby of Broadway." The theme of the old guard versus a new generation runs through the show and his Julian brings it home in his reprise of that song at the close. Comedy relief comes from a source by now familiar to Ogunquit audiences. Sally Struthers plays the motherly songwriter Maggie Jones. The TV legend pops in and out of several scenes, adding a little song and dance and a lot of laughs as she, once again, has a lot of fun with a ready-made role.
Bobby Franklin, Boxing Over Broadway: While the story is fun and fast moving, if predictable, 42nd Street is all about the singing and dancing. The numbers are spectacular. We're In The Money is performed with giant dimes being rolled on stage (They are Mercury heads in keeping with the time frame). Shuffle Off To Buffalo with Kilty Reidy as Bert and Megan McLaughlin as Lorraine, a couple heading off on their honeymoon, is sweet and fun. The best is saved for last when the stage is filled with dancers on rows of lit stairs tapping away to the title song. Signs with the names of theaters, shows, and performers hang above them while they sing and dance. It is an outstanding number that brought the audience to their feet. It has been said there is a broken heart for every light on Broadway, but these lights bring happiness.