21 August 2023
Theatre Royal, Glasgow
A showstopping, sparkly, stage spectacular!
42nd Street is a timeless showbiz musical based on the 1980 stage musical and 1933 Hollywood film.
When Peggy Sawyer (Nicole-Lily Baisden) arrives in 1930's New York, she lands a role in the chorus line of aspiring new musical 'Pretty Lady'. Notorious director Julian Marsh (Michael Praed), and star of the show Dorothy Brock (Samantha Womack), have no time for her, but thanks to help from leading man Billy Lawlor (Sam Lips) and the ensemble cast, Peggy gets her shot at stardom and may just save the show.
This new production of 42nd Street may be set in the 1930's, but it feels fresh and bright. The set and costumes are stunning. Easily the most beautiful, shimmering, stage costumes I have ever seen. I marvelled as they got better with each and every number. With magnificent staging and impeccable lighting from Ben Cracknell, every scene was like a picture postcard from the golden age of Broadway.
The soundtrack includes many iconic songs: "We’re In The Money”, “Lullaby of Broadway”, “Keep Young and Beautiful”, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, and of course the showstopping title number, "42nd Street", all played superbly by the fantastic live orchestra.
42nd Street is a dance-led show, and the choreography by Bill Deamer is suitably complex and dazzling. I didn't see anyone put a foot wrong in any of the sensational dance numbers. The ensemble routines are timeless yet contemporary, and the impact from the vigorous yet perfectly rehearsed dancers is breath-taking.
The cast are exquisite, with Nicole-Lily Baisden quite rightly stealing the show as the triple-threat, enthusiastic newcomer from Allentown, Peggy Sawyer. Samantha Womack servers up the glamour and searing diva attitude as fading star Dorothy Brock. Faye Tozer is hilarious as Maggie Jones, and the dashing Michael Praed is perfectly cast in the role of the successful but demanding director, Julian Marsh. Sam Lips wowed me in 'Singing in the Rain' recently, and it's fantastic to see him shine here as Billy Lawlor. He's the ideal matinee idol, tap-dancing, singing leading man for Pretty Lady. Great casting.
This new production of 42nd Street is an exemplary blend of dance, music, storytelling, staging and cast that comes together to create a showstopping, sparkly, stage spectacular the likes of which is rarely seen these days. Don't miss it.
Listings and Tickets
42nd Street plays the Theatre Royal, Glasgow from Mon 21st to Sat 26th August 2023.
🎟️ Tickets: https://prf.hn/l/BOo8GD2
42nd Street plays the Edinburgh Playhouse from Tues 26 to Sat 30th March 2024.
🎟️ Tickets: https://prf.hn/l/ERBAdnN
📸 Production photo credit: Johan Persson
🌟REVIEW - 42nd Street (UK Tour, Glasgow) [Musical Theatre]🌟
🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.
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