BWW Review: 42ND STREET Timeless at the Palace Theatre

BWW Review: 42ND STREET Timeless at the Palace Theatre

42nd Street first premiered in 1980, but this jukebox musical, set during the Great Depression, still feels timeless.

If the American Dream is a house, a white picket fence, and 2.5 children, the New York City Dream is to perform on Broadway. When we first meet wide-eyed Peggy Sawyer (Maria Logan), she's fresh from Allentown, PA and has just such a dream. Peggy is looking to make it big... or, to at least find her place among the chorus girls in Julian Marsh's - played by the formidable Dan Fenaughty - new production, Pretty Lady.

Stuck up chorus girls (who are grateful to be in a chorus line rather than a bread line!) quickly warm to Peggy once they see her talents, championing and cheerleading for their new friend every step of the way.

The chemistry between Maria Logan's Peggy Sawyer and Brandon Keith Rogers' Billy Lawlor is immediately apparent, despite their naivete and priggishness, respectively.

If you aren't already familiar with this show, you'll recognize plenty of songs, starting with its titular tune and including other favorites like "I Only Have Eyes For You," "We're in the Money," and "Lullaby on Broadway."

Trisha Hart Ditsworth shines as Dorothy Brock, the demanding diva and star of Pretty Lady who keeps Marsh on his toes. (Keep your eyes peeled for her enjoyable transformation in act two - she's positively endearing during "About a Quarter to Nine.") Palace Theatre's own house manager, Jill Pennington, is both hilarious and full of personality as Pretty Lady writer Maggie Jones.

Despite being a classic, there are unfortunately some elements of 42nd Street that haven't aged very well. For example, the slightly misogynistic "Dames" fell a bit flat, the audience quiet and unsure of how to react. There was also the moment Mr. Marsh kissed a leading lady without her consent... not once, not twice, but three times... to elicit a more dramatic delivery of her lines.

That being said, the entire cast was a veritable powerhouse of talent, moving effortlessly through rapid musical numbers and flying through costume changes. All in all, 42nd Street is an energetic and flawless production that you won't want to miss! It's running at Manchester's Palace Theater now through June 23rd.

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From This Author Alison Downs

Alison Downs is a writer, editor, and self-proclaimed Broadway fanatic who has been obsessed with the stage ever since her mother popped Annie into the (read more...)

  • BWW Review: 42ND STREET Timeless at the Palace Theatre
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