Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London
The glitzy, glittering, all-singing, all-dancing spectacular continues to light up Theatre Royal Drury Lane as a new Dorothy Brock hails her arrival in glorious fashion.
Bonnie Langford has taken over the role of Brock, the legendary star who leaves the way clear for new talent when she sustains an injury which leaves her in a wheelchair. She plays opposite Clare Halse who has been playing the role of Peggy Sawyer since the show opened in April 2017.
Set in the 1930s, 42nd Street is based around a show ‘Pretty Lady’ at the helm of which is Julian Marsh (Tom Lister) – the curtain opens on the casting call, as several male and female wannabe chorus-liners strut their stuff. Late to the party is Peggy Sawyer, who has travelled from Allentown to audition and has been hanging around at the stage door, terrified to go in.
Having missed her chance, despite juvenile lead Billy Lawlor’s (Ashley Day) attempts to show her off after he takes a shine to her, it seems that her journey has been wasted. Dorothy Brock is heading up the cast and although she can sing, dancing is not one of her talents, in spite of her star status. The story is one of luck changing on a sixpence, unfortunate events becoming the catalyst for better things and an unpredictable love story. Musical numbers include ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, ‘Go Into Your Dance’, ‘We’re In The Money’, ‘About A Quarter To Nine’ and ‘Lullaby of Broadway’. Classic musical theatre songs which may be familiar to many, even if they don’t readily associate them with 42nd Street.
Langford is captivating and absolutely on point as Dorothy Brock. She’s been hoofing it since she was seven – the consummate professional, with decades of experience is really apparent. Halse as Peggy is also exceptional. A well-matched pair of leading ladies indeed. Lister has a commanding presence as Julian Marsh, notable chemistry with Halse too.
You won’t be able to stop yourselves from tapping along to the music and lyrics from the extraordinary duo; Harry Warren and Al Dubin and Randy Skinner’s choreography is superb.