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Naughty, bawdy, gaudy, sporty 42nd Street now at Bucks County Playhouse

Ralph Malachowski

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posted by Ralph Malachowski on Jul 6, 2018 10:30am | comments

   


“Why is it more proper to relieve our hunger and thirst than to rid ourselves of melancholy?” asked Benedict de Spinoza. Why indeed, when you can take your dancing feet right on over to the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, to see the American classic, 42nd Street, and be happy.

 42nd Street with music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Al Dubin, Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, with new choreography by Jeremy Dumont and directed by Hunter Foster is the answer to what ails you. 42nd Street will make you forget your troubles and chase your blues away. In this fabulous production, you will spend 2-1/2 hours in tap-dancing heaven. Refresh and restore yourself with the joy of 42nd Street. This Broadway classic is based upon the hit 1933 hit musical 42nd Street choreographed by the legendary Busby Berkeley which was based upon the novel by Bradford Ropes.

The amaaaaazing cast includes Linda Balgord channeling Tallulah Bankhead as Dorothy Brock, tap-dancing phenom Matt Bauman as Andy Lee, Blakely Slaybaugh as Billy Lawlor, tenor extraordinaire and fierce tap dancer, Matt Walton as a spot-on Julian Marsh, and as the ingénue Peggy Sawyer, the indefatigable, the unbelievable, the inimitable Tessa Grady, who surely does prove the line (with some alteration) “Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've come back a star!” An outstanding Ruth Gottschall riveted the audience with her Maggie Jones. The other actors and ensemble were all first-rate.  The dancers demonstrated their physical sprezzatura, performing the most difficult tasks with nonchalance. They brought the tiny stage in this intimate theatre explosively alive. The thrilling dancing was highlighted by the extraordinary costumes by Nicole V. Moody. Clearly, no expense was spared to give us that old-time razzle-dazzle.

If you’re one of those lucky few who have never seen 42nd Street, now is your chance. For those who know and love it, you will love it all over again. Come and hear the classic numbers, “Young and Healthy,” “You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “42nd Street,” and many more.

Of special interest to our readers, the novel by Bradford Ropes had the love interest not between Peggy Sawyer and Billy Lawlor, but between Billy Lawlor and Julian Marsh. Supposedly, even too spicy for 1933, it was changed for the film, and, of course, for the musical.

42nd Street is at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA, until August 4. For more information about this production, and the whole season, visit www.buckscountyplayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.

 

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