Tuesday 17 April 2018

42nd Street - Review

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London


Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Directed by Mark Bramble

Clare Halse leads the 42nd Street company

Revisiting 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – and it still remains the finest spectacle of dance to be found in the West End.

Lulu takes over the role of Dorothy Brock, crock, from Sheena Easton – and the show displays one of those rare moments of art imitating life. Wikipedia may disclose Lulu’s age but this review will not. Suffice to say that her days of being a chart-topping pop star were many decades ago – and indeed her last venture onto a West End stage was back in the ‘80s. But actually, that’s what Dorothy Brock is all about. She’s a faded star, long past her best. Lulu’s vocal magic may have slightly faded, but she still has star quality by the bucket load, alongwith a name that’s recognised on both sides of the Atlantic. Producers, Michaels Grade and Linnit are no fools – Lulu will put bums on seats.

And then, of course, there’s that 50-strong(!) company wowing the crowds with their dance. Ashley Day takes over as Billy Lawlor, but while Lulu may top the bill, it is unquestionably Clare Halse as Peggy Sawyer who leads the show, with tap-dancing feet that become a blur of brilliance.

42nd Street was fabulous when it opened a year ago. It still is.

Booking until 20th October

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