42nd Street spellbinding
A tip-top show with EastEnders soap star Samantha Womack opened at the Bristol Hippodrome on Monday night, July 31.
The musical 42nd Street is an iconic song-and-dance spectacular which features a hit parade of toe-tapping songs including We’re In The Money, Lullaby of Broadway and I Only Have Eyes For You.
The Lullaby Of Broadway played out to an enthusiastic Bristol audience bringing all the glitz and glamour of a bygone age to life.
The elegant and energetic dancing is a sophisticated mix of Fred Astaire in Top Hat and White Tie and Josephine Baker of Folies Bergère fame with the surprising comedic moments reflecting Mumbles the tap-dancing penguin in Happy Feet.
Alongside Samantha as Dorothy Brock fellow hoofers were Michael Praed as Julian Marsh, Faye Tozer as Maggie Jones, Les Dennis as Bert Barry and Nicole-Lily Baisden as Peggy Sawyer.
I took my sister-in-law Lucinda whose Auntie Kitty once was a high-kicking Tiller Girl and we both loved every spell binding moment.
Lucinda said: “I went tonight not knowing too much about 42nd Street, I was expecting lots of dancing and singing, but was surprised by the amount of comedy in it, which was brilliant.
“Definitely the perfect production for all ages, lots of sparkles, glittering tap-dancing, and plenty to keep everyone entertained.
“I recommend the show if you need a bit of cheering up from this horrible wet summer.
“It provides a bit of escapism.
“The two female lead singers playing Peggy and Dorothy, were superb with beautiful voices.
“Les Dennis also provided a bit of comedy and a name that people might recognize.”
42nd Steet is described as a timeless and inspiring showbiz fairytale that combines breath-taking tap dance routines, backstage intrigue, classic romance and delightful comedy to dazzling effect.
Fresh off the bus from small-town America, young and beautiful Peggy Sawyer arrives in New York City dreaming of her name in lights.
She quickly catches the eye of a big-time director and lands a spot in the chorus line of Broadway’s newest show…and when the leading lady gets injured, Peggy gets her shot at stardom.
Samantha has appeared in many top stage shows including the White Witch in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Morticia Addams in The Addams Family.
Michael Praed’s television credits include Frank Clayton in Emmerdale, Prince Michael in Dynasty and the titular role in Robin of Sherwood.
Faye Tozer is best known as a member of BRIT Award winning pop band Steps.
Les Dennis most recently starred as Grandad Trotter in Only Fools and Horses The Musical.
His other West End credits include Wilbur in Hairspray opposite Michael Ball, Amos Hart in Chicago and Bill in Me and My Girl. He played Michael Rodwell in Coronation Street and a fictional version of himself in Extras.
This new production is directed by Jonathan Church (Singin’ in the Rain, The Drifters Girl) with choreography and design by Olivier Award winners Bill Deamer and Rob Jones, lighting design by Ben Cracknell, sound design by Ian Dickinson and Gareth Tucker, video design by Jon Driscoll, musical supervision by Jennifer Whyte and orchestrations by Larry Blank.
42nd Street has music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin, and book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, based on the novel by Bradford Ropes.
Original direction and dances were by Gower Champion.
The show was originally produced on Broadway by David Merrick.
It plays the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday, August 5, with a matinee performance on the final afternoon.
Tickets from £13.00 plus online booking fee at www.atgtickets.com/bristol-hippodrome.
Among the audience you may see young dancers from the Adele Stitch School of Dance who held a 42nd Street workshop in Nailsea with some of the cast!