DFW Theater Review: ’42nd Street’ Is Not To Be Missed

Review by Lauryn Angel

Dallas Summer Musicals closes its 2015/2016 season with a fantastic production of 42nd Street that is not to be missed!

This production of 42nd Street is directed by Mark Bramble, who directed the 2001 revival production and received a Tony nomination for his work. And it’s no wonder, judging by this production, which also includes fantastic costumes designed by Roger Kirk, beautiful scenic design by Beowulf Brit, and some creative lighting design by Ken Billington, culminating in a dazzling show.

The story follows a group of performers in 1933, suffering from post-Depression economic woes, desperate for work. When famed director Julian Marsh (Matthew J. Taylor) announces a new musical, dancers flock to the audition, providing an opportunity for an opening number that shows off just how talented and flawless this company is, as they move perfectly in sync through the routine. Newcomer Peggy Sawyer (Caitlin Ehlinger) arrives too late to audition, but makes enough of an impression (not entirely favorable) to earn a role in the chorus of Pretty Lady. Peggy is enormously talented, which earns her the affections of leading man Billy Lawlor (Blake Stadnik) and the envy of leading lady Dorothy Brock (Kaitlin Lawrence).

42nd Street includes quite a musical numbers you’ll be familiar with, even if you’ve never seen it before, like “We’re in the Money” and “Shuffle off to Buffalo.” While the music is fun, the real reason to catch this show is the dancing. The phrase “well-oiled machine” popped into my head more than once, but that’s not quite right, as it suggests robotic, mechanical movements. This chorus executed the moves perfectly, for sure, but it’s clear to the audience that each dancer is having a blast during the performance, and it’s a sheer delight to watch.

42nd Street will be at the Music Hall at Fair Park through July 11, after which it will move to Bass Performance Hall July 12-17. Do yourself a favor and catch a performance before the tour moves on!

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