Personal blog of Jamie Moore, a 22 year old Actor and Workshop Facilitator from Leicester.
Favourite theatre credits include Hero in A Funny Thing Happened in the way to the Forum and Alceste in The Misanthrope. Both University shows, but a lot of fun.
I currently work as a Participatory Arts Facilitator part time for the Curve Young Company at the Curve Theatre in Leicester, so expect to find lots of Curve and workshop related ramblings!
Today I visited the Curve Theatre, Leicester to watch a matinee of 42nd Street on its final day, marking the second time I have seen the show during its run. (Also, I must note, Front Row seats were incredible! There is no better view in the theatre than the close up view of sweating actors and dancers!)
I didn’t review the show when I first saw it, so I will do so now. This production of 42nd Street was quite simply perfect, a magical spectacle that I am sure will live with me for a long time to come.
Before seeing the show the first time I had no idea what the show was about or what to expect, however I immediately fell in love with it when the ensemble cast came out for the big opening dance number, and I felt exactly the same way upon second viewing.
The dance sequences in the show are spectacular with a stunning cast of extremely talented dancers, special kudos to Alan Burkitt and Jack Wilcox for pulling off dance moves I could only dream of, especially during the Audition scene and the 42nd Street finale.
But the show isn’t all dance, their are some stunning vocals in the show provided by Ria Jones (Dorothy Brock - What a talented voice and incredibly polite lady, thanks for the programme signing!), Daisy Maywood (Peggy Sawyer) and Tim Flavin (Julian Marsh). I actually got goosebumps during some of the numbers, especially during Shadow Waltz and the finale number Forty-Second Street (And Julian’s Reprisal).
“In the heart of little old New York,
You’ll find a thoroughfare.
It’s the part of little old New York
That runs into Times Square.
A crazy quilt that “Wall Street Jack” built,
If you’ve got a little time to spare,
I want to take you there.
Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I’m taking you to…
Are the seductive words which draw you into the shows incredible finale, Daisy Maywood pulls the song out of the bag for this very powerful number, and I greatly appreciated hearing her finally sing her big solo number! The accompanying dance routine and the ‘Lovers Story’ was incredible to watch.
The set, costumes, direction, acting and dance was all perfect, and clearly pulled together seamlessly by director Paul Kerryson and choreographer Andrew Wright. I can’t criticize the production or music in any way.
My only criticisms lie with the story.
The musical within a musical ‘Pretty Lady’ seems to have no coherent story throughout the songs we hear in a show, and I do have to question why the song Forty-Second Street speaks of “Little Nifties, from the Fifties” and “Sexy Ladies, from the Eighties” when the show is set in the Thirties.*
I also left unsure of Julian’s age, the re-occuring joke throughout the show is that Dorothy Brock is an aging Broadway star who hasn’t had a hit in 10 years, but Dorothy herself said she saw a Julian Marsh show as a young girl, and she always wanted to get into Broadway to work with him, which makes me ask, if she is supposedly an older actress, how old is Julian? This wasn’t clear.
If anyone knows the show better than I do and would like to respond to these comments with answers, contact me here on Tumblr or on Twitter (@Cadaboo).
However I suppose these questions are irrelevant, as they do not effect my enjoyment of the show. As quite clearly stated in Billy’s solo ‘Dames’ (Quite wonderfully pulled off by Actor/Singer Francis Haugen.) “Who cares if there’s a plot or not. When they’ve got a lot of dames!”, and Dames is one thing 42nd Street has plenty of, and a large range of costumes designed to show off them off! The show is glamour, spectacle and dancing feet, it was absolutely perfect the way it was.
It is a great shame the show has had to come to a close, I am certain that everyone who saw it will be humming along and tapping their dancing feat along to the tunes for quite a while yet. And as I type this, the last show is just about reaching its conclusion over at the Curve Theatre, and I am left wondering just how many members of the cast are going to get emotional and cry when they realize the ride is over?
Now in kicks the insane jealousy… I need to get myself back onto a stage and fast! :D
Thank you to Alan Burkitt for clarifying a piece of information for me. The lines “Little Nifties, from the Fifties” and “Sexy Ladies, from the Eighties” are actually referring to street numbers and not years. This actually makes sense.
Thanks very much for letting me know. :)