According to Jullian Marsh in 42nd Street “The most glorious words in the english language are Musical Comedy”. How head spinning, toe tapping, leg kicking right he is! London is practically sinking under the weight of dance shows at the moment and I for one couldn’t be happier.
Anyone who had a dream of becoming a dancer will literally be in seventh heaven watching shows like An American In Paris and 42nd Street. I first saw the latter at the Drury Lane in the 1980’s. It was a life changing moment, I knew at that point I wanted to be on that stage. I yearned to dance on the coins and tap until my feet bled! Thankfully now the show is back in the very same theatre and hopefully will spur on another generation of hoofers. The show celebrates dance and more importantly dancers. Every great show needs a great ensemble, they are the throbbing heart of its rhythm and pace. 42nd Street like An American In Paris puts dance right down stage centre front of the action and oh how glorious that is.
For once people aren’t coming out discussing the sets, that actor of the telly or the special effects… they are quite rightly singing the praises of the dancers in the chorus line. The people who often go unnoticed and unloved. I remember when I was in Cats coming out of the stage door after a performance and a member of the public asking me when were the cast coming out?! The fact I had just dance my ass off for three hours and they were none the wiser was dispiriting to say the least! Admittedly I had been dressed as a cat with a face full of make up but still as a dancer it is a welcome change to be celebrated!
So as they say in 42nd Street “Get out your tap shoes Francis” and head over to Drury Lane and the Dominion (insert plug) oh and don’t forget the Noel Coward where Half A Sixpence is still playing (plug over) to cheer on those wondrous humans time stepping their way to stardom. For why walk when you can dance?