Tuesday, November 1, 2011

42nd Street -Review- NMTC, Theatre Royal

42nd Street
Theatre Royal Newcastle
31st October 2011
A celebration of the stuff that dreams are made of, 42nd Street is the timeless, inspiring story of small town girl Peggy Sawyer’s meteoric rise from the anonymity of the chorus line to the spotlight of the Broadway star.

It is now over a year ago that I gave full marks to NMTC for their rendition of The King and I.
In the time in-between the Theatre Royal has had a bit of a major facelift, the world has gone a bit mad, but the Players, and the behind the scenes force of the Theatre Company, have again worked tirelessly to guarantee another good starred review from me.
From the start of the orchestra playing the intro music, I knew that another tasty night at the theatre was in store. As the curtain rose to give us the first glimpse and the first sound of the tap dancing chorus, then my suspicions became a reality.
Pretty Lady is the show (within a show) that is in auditioning and rehearsal stage, Peggy Sawyer is new in New York fresh from Allentown in Pennsylvania, she doesn't know how good she is, until she gets a break at taking over the lead role after an unfortunate accident with one time girl of the moment (and mega diva) Dorothy Brock. Dorothy is devastated at being sidelined, but throws her weight behind supporting Peggy in her moment of need.
Peggy has her talents on stage but it is her talent of being a looker that sees her being woo-ed by two of the stars of the show, shyly and slowly she acknowledges her sensuality. Dorothy on the other hand is a trusty player at the woo-ing, making a play for her 'bit on the side' at any given chance, especially when the cards are down.
42nd Street takes us miles away from Newcastle, to the bright lights of New York and Philadelphia, with lots of songs, dancing and superb role-play thrown in.
 Shireen Hamlani, playing Dorothy performed superbly, her sensing that newcomer Peggy could end her days as being top Charlie, was skilfully acted out.
Jade Sanderson as Peggy,rocked her socks off with some amazing moves and overcoming the 'little fish in a big pond' situation in her role to get to the high life, certainly knows how to act. Top marks from me.
Leon Gill (last seen by me playing 'Horse' in The Full Monty) and Emma Smith, playing Bert Barry and Maggie Jones, the writers and producers of 'The Pretty Lady' were always on hand to entertain.
Andy Dean, playing straight talking and straight kissing director Julian Marsh, commanded the stage like he commanded his troupe of actors on stage-with a firm hand.
I wish I had more time and space to name everybody on stage, as they all deserve a mention for the work and toil that they have put into this performance.
A very professional sounding orchestra pit led all of the action on stage, the very talented Michael Lamb cares very deeply about the music and how it all goes together. The rousing 'We're in the money' and the title track 'Forty-Second Street' were highlights of the pit and the cast working together as one to bring about fantastic results.
Director of the play and the choreography Vicki Richardson has done a fantastic job with the talent that she has at her disposal. The 'Finale Ultimo' as a dance spectacle is breathtaking.
The costumes of the dancing troupe on stage were to die for, so bright and colourful

In 42nd Street everybody is happy go lucky, with a spring in their step, not bothered about what will happen tomorrow but living for today. This is how I judged the audience after seeing the play, everybody leaving was on a high thanks to NMTC and their solid performance.

42nd Street is playing until November 5th.

Michael Hunter

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