‘It was fabulous when it opened & it still is’: 42nd STREET – West End ★★★★★

In London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Jonathan BazLeave a Comment

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London – booking until 20 October 2018

Revisiting 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – and it still remains the finest spectacle of dance to be found in the West End.

Lulu takes over the role of Dorothy Brock from Sheena Easton – and the show displays one of those rare moments of art imitating life. Wikipedia may disclose Lulu’s age but this review will not. Suffice to say that her days of being a chart-topping pop star were many decades ago – and indeed her last venture onto a West End stage was back in the 1980s.

Get all social media for 42nd Street & its cast on www.stagefaves.com

But actually, that’s what Dorothy Brock is all about. She’s a faded star, long past her best. Lulu’s vocal magic may have slightly faded, but she still has star quality by the bucket load, along with a name that’s recognised on both sides of the Atlantic. Producers Michaels Grade and Linnit are no fools – Lulu will put bums on seats.

And then, of course, there’s that 50-strong (!) company wowing the crowds with their dance. Ashley Day takes over as Billy Lawlor, but while Lulu may top the bill, it is unquestionably Clare Halse as Peggy Sawyer who leads the show, with tap-dancing feet that become a blur of brilliance. 42nd Street was fabulous when it opened a year ago. It still is.

Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.
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Jonathan Baz on Twitter
Jonathan Baz
Theatre critic Jonathan Baz is London-based but with a coverage that extends far beyond the capital to include regional theatre as well as occasional forays into Europe and the USA. He enjoys reviewing new writing as much as seeing fresh interpretations of well-known plays and musicals. Jonathan also sits on the judging panel of London's Off West End Awards ("the Offies") and has published numerous interviews and features with leading figures in the film and theatre world. Away from the arts, Jonathan is a practising Chartered Accountant with a number of clients in the entertainment industries. He blogs at www.jonathanbaz.com and tweets at @MrJonathanBaz.