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42nd Street (Southampton - tour)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Based on the 1933 film, this colourful, toe-tapping show begins at the 42nd Street dancing school where auditions for the new musical ‘Pretty Lady’ are taking place, and a set of young tappers delight the audience with their energy and enthusiasm in a show-stopping curtain raiser.

42nd Street tells the story of small town girl Peggy Sawyer (Jessica Punch - most memorable as Ruth in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers) who dreams of becoming a Broadway star. When veteran leading lady Dorothy Brock (Marti Webb - Half a Sixpence, Evita, Cats to name a but a few) breaks her ankle in an accident, It is the opportunity Peggy has been waiting for - to wow audiences with her goofy charm and fantastic foot work .

Jessica Punch has a pure, clear voice and is memorably both awkward and breathtaking in her dancing. Marti Webb gives an impressive performance and her voice remains a pleasure to listen to.

Unfortunately, the first act lacks lustre and the script is not the most sparkling, but the song and dance routines are second to none. Memorable songs `Keep Young and Beautiful`, the haunting `I Only Have Eyes For You`, and energetic ‘ We`re in the money` make up for the lack of story depth.

Act 2 steps up a gear with James O`Connell (Billy) and Carol Ball (Maggie Jones) giving stand-out performances. There is a well-staged performance of `Lullaby Of Broadway` by Dave Willett`s Broadway producer Julian Marsh. And the title song `42nd Street` performed on a flight of stairs is a credit to choreographer Graeme Henderson who catches the spirit of the time flawlessly.


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