Review Roundup: 42ND STREET at Ordway Center For The Performing Arts

Review Roundup: 42ND STREET at Ordway Center For The Performing Arts

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to present the Ordway Original production of "42nd Street" which began performances on July 23 and continues for 24 performances through Aug. 11.

This Ordway Original production, a reinvented version of the Broadway classic, was previously produced at Chicago's Drury Lane Theatre, garnering rave reviews.

Tickets and subscriptions are available at Ordway.org or by calling the Ordway Ticketing Office at 651-224-4222.

Let's see what the critics have to say!

Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune: The script is supposedly "modernized," but what I think happened is that, in zipping up the dance numbers, the creators of "42nd Street" made the dated book seem even more old-fashioned. As a result, this "42nd Street" will probably play better if you just think of it as a snappy musical revue, with unrelated showstopper after showstopper set to favorites such as "We're in the Money" and "Lullaby of Broadway" (only an odd "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," featuring hardworking Tyler Michaels King, falls flat). Yes, the show is something of a mess - so is the real 42nd Street - but it is an entertaining, even beguiling, one.

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page: The Ordway's production of 42nd Street is populated by much local talent and a few with national credits. It's an amazing mix of people from various cultural backgrounds and professional experience. The cast truly looks like a representation of all the different kinds of people you'd see on the streets of New York, or any city in America. The ensemble is so strong. I've seen many shows in the Twin Cities and a couple in New York on Broadway, and this production of 42nd Street was one of the most spectacular.

Dominic C. Papatola, Pioneer Press: The choreography, though still rooted in tap and riffing on some iconic Broadway musical imagery, feels more like the work of Savion Glover than Gower Champion. Watching really good tap dancers is always an exhilarating and exhausting experience, but this troupe, choreographed by Jared Grimes, almost feels like they will attain liftoff with their turbo-charged hoofing. There's a certain price to be paid, though: The plotline tends to get buried under an avalanche of gloss. But it's hard to argue that's a devastating loss: In the original 1932 novel and 1933 film, "42nd Street" is the story that launched a thousand clichés; a convenient and gossamer excuse to knit together a bunch of show-stoppers.

Jill Schafer, Cherry and Spoon: The Ordway's stage has been transformed to gritty NYC (because 42nd Street/Times Square used to be gritty before it was Disney-fied), with a couple levels of scaffolding and stairs that the cast is constantly running up and down. Projections behind the scaffolding are beautifully (i.e., not over) used, almost blending in with the onstage set (scenic and projection design by Paul Tate dePoo III). Emilio Sosa's period costumes are fun, colorful, gorgeous, and still allow the dancers freedom of movement. And did I mention the gold spats?! Last but not least - this incredible nine-piece onstage band led by the Ordway's own Raymond Berg (with local music legend Sanford Moore on keyboard). Situated on the balcony, they feel like an integral part of the show, which they are, and sound incredible.

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