Following its original nine-year Broadway run from 1980 to 1989, 42nd Street was revived in April 2001 at New York’s Ford Center for the Performing Arts, where it had 1,524 performances until closing in January 2005. The revival was nominated for eight Tony Awards and won two, including Best Revival. It had originally been eyeing a West End opening but will now embark on the tour first ahead of a possible London transfer (See The Goss, 17 Jan 2003).
The UK tour will be directed by Mark Bramble, one of the musical’s original authors who also helmed both Broadway productions, and will feature sets and costumes from the Broadway production.
Set in 1933, 42nd Street charts the backstage dramas of an ill director’s final Broadway show, in which, following a sudden injury, leading lady Dorothy Brock is replaced by chorus girl Peggy Sawyer. Harry Warren and Al Dubin’s score includes now classic songs such as “Lullaby of Broadway”, “We’re in the Money” and the title number. The musical has a book by Mark Bramble and Michael Stewart.
Though no supporting cast has yet been announced for the UK tour – auditions are set to take place soon – the casting of Paul Nicholas as Julian Marsh continues the performer’s association with UK Productions, for which he has appeared in tours of The Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof and, most recently, Jekyll and Hyde. Prior to 42nd Street, he will star in Dick Whittington at Southend-on-Sea. Though best known for the 1980s sitcom Just Good Friends, Nicholas has numerous credits in musical theatre including Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease and Cats.
Following Nottingham, the tour continues to Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Blackpool, Oxford, Eastbourne, Stoke, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Manchester, Woking, Bradford, Cardiff, Plymouth, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Rhyl, Sheffield, Bristol, Hull, Southampton and High Wycombe, with further dates to be announced.
- by Jake Brunger