I was lucky enough to be invited to the first preview of 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and whilst any official opinions about the show are under embargo until press night, I thought I’d give you all some hints and teasers and a little sneak preview through these 42 reasons to see 42nd Street.
1 Where else are you going to see a cast of over 50?
2 Just look at them
3 It has got someone from off the telly in it, so that even if people haven’t heard of the show, they’ll know ‘him from Emmerdale
4 Here he is, Carl King himself aka Tom Lister
5 And even if they claim they don’t know the show, they’ll know the songs
6 It’s got this one in it
7 And this one (obvs)
8 And this one
9 And if you’re not feeling particularly in the money at the moment, there’s £10 off during previews (until 3rd April)
10 At one point they do it with mirrors
12 It’s directed by one of its co-authors Mark Bramble
13 It won the Tony for Best Musical in 1981
14 It won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 1984
15 (That’s the production that launched the career of Catherine Zeta-Jones from second understudy for Peggy Sawyer to leading lady)
16 It also won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical in 2001
17 So history could well repeat itself at the 2018 Oliviers!
18 Speaking of awards, not only is Sheena Easton a 2 time Grammy Award winner, she won one of them for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1985. Who knew?!
19 And here she is as Dorothy
20 And her standby is CJ Johnson who’ll always be in my good books for being a part of The Light Princess company
21 fosterIAN award nominee for The Grinning Man Stuart Neal is Billy Lawlor and he’s just lovely
22 Peggy is played by Clare Halse (who was Marjorie May in Gypsy) who explodes with choreographic delight here
23 Just look at her
25 Although I’m not quite sure how Dorothy was ever going to manage that finale (a plot hole we’ll just skate over)
26 Likewise we’ll not mention the word understudy either…
27 For like many a dance-heavy musical, it’s all just fun and games
28 The girls look good
29 The boys look good too
30 Roger Kirk’s costumes are a constant treat
31 In all their rainbow-hued delight
32 Douglas W Schmidt’s set design is iconic
33 Even when it is evoking Celebrity Squares
34 Steps are back
35 No, I meant these kind of steps…
36 On which Randy Skinner’s choreography is a tap-dancing marvel
37 It really is
38 The hit rate of its big production numbers is extraordinary
39 There’s a move in the finale which is a thing of real wonder
40 Which almost makes you want to take up tap lessons
41 And all in all, it serves as a lasting tribute to Gower Champion, the director and choreographer of the original production who, in one of those horrible twists of fate, died just hours before its opening night
42 Last up, it’s got a Kate, a Katharine, a Katie and a Katy in the cast and well isn’t that fun.