OK, so it’s corny and dated and has been performed to death since it won the Tony for Best New Musical 34 years ago. “42nd Street” still has some of the best tap dancing and choreography ever seen on stage.
Director/choreographer Amiee Turner has surrounded herself with some great hoofers who bring Gower Champion’s dances to life in this lively version of the old chestnut.
If you like nostalgia (The musical is set in the early ’30s when it cost $4.40 to see a Broadway show and the chorus members were paid $32 a week), you’ll love “42nd Street.” After all, this is the musical that brought you the classic “Lullaby of Broadway,” plus some other memorable tunes like “We’re in the Money” and “Shuffle Off to Buffalo.” From the opening tap number to the closing “42nd Street” extravaganza, the old chestnut may have a slightly stale book, but the music makes it all worthwhile.
Following a pattern, Turner uses New York equity actors alongside local talent, blending veterans and newcomers into a cohesive unit. The singing is good, while the dancing is great.
The story is simple. Peggy Sawyer (Lauren DeFilippo) is the starry-eyed young girl from Allenton who dreams of making it on Broadway. When the leading lady (Gerrianne Genga) breaks her ankle hours before the show opens, chorus girl Peggy reluctantly steps in. The rest is true fairy tale material.
Turner and managing producer Joel Kipper spare no expense in the lavish costumes created by Brian Horton and set created by Rob Dew, filling the OSTC stage with glitz and color galore.
For those who yearn for the “good old days” of Broadway musicals, “42nd Street” is sure to please. Tickets are $39 to $54 and can be purchased by calling 921-6800.
For those who haven’t been paying attention to the wonderful things this theatre has been doing, Ocean State Theatre is located at 1245 Jefferson Blvd. in Warwick.