Thursday, April 7, 2016

theatre review - 42ND STREET - National Tour: ASU Gammage - April 5, 2016

Blake Stadnik and Kaitlin Lawrence (center) and Cast
Photo by Chris Bennion
Click here for more information on this production that runs through April 10th.

 "The musical comedy smash 42nd Street has danced its way to ASU Gammage for a week long run. This classic backstage musical, which is full of practically non-stop dance and fun characters, is a treat—a colorful confection that brims with an infectious glee and a show that will surely put a smile on everyone's face. The touring production, which is modeled on the 2001 Broadway revival, features an exceptionally talented cast who are extremely adept at delivering the show's abundance of toe tapping choreography....... Director Mark Bramble, who also co-wrote the book, ensures that the entire cast deliver their dialogue and lyrics in a period appropriate style. While it borders slightly on melodrama in parts, it also lovingly evokes a long ago and simpler time. Randy Skinner's musical staging and choreography wisely incorporate the original moves that won Gower Champion a Tony for the original Broadway production along with some additional steps that send it soaring into a non-stop frenzy of superiorly composed sequences of always changing styles of dance. The choreography even keeps going past the curtain call. If you love dancing, especially tap dancing, this production of 42nd Street is not to be missed. This company also has three excellent performers in the lead parts of Marsh, Sawyer, and Brock. Demure and na├»ve but also bright eyed and full of energy and fire, Caitlin Ehlinger is simply smashing as Peggy. Her dancing is exceptional. Matthew J. Taylor infuses the demanding director Marsh with an appropriate air of determination and power, along with charm, fatherly advice, and a hint of romance. ...Kaitlin Lawrence's take on Dorothy Brock is nuanced and full of fierceness with an undercurrent of vulnerability. Her singing is vibrant and smoky....Creative elements are partly based on the Tony winning revival, including Roger Kirk's Tony nominated costumes, which are a non-stop parade of superb, and colorful, period perfect designs...J. Michael Duff's music direction is superb, with clear, stellar vocals from the large cast while evoking the sound of an orchestra twice as large as the eight musicians in the pit. Full of charm and spunk, the national tour of 42nd Street features an exceptionally talented cast who make the vibrant, fun, and spirited choreography become a joyful and infectious experience"  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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