It's been almost 20 years since that last production and in Rachel Rockwell's capable hands this “revival” of 42nd Street is able to tap dance over that other production with ease, excitement, joy, and quite a bit of sequins.
In leading up to the finale “42nd Street” has always provided one of the greatest lines in a musical comedy “Musical Comedy, The most beautiful words in the English language.” Those are words to live by that are the equivalent of “I Love You or even “It's Friday.” Whenever you hear them especially from the steely conviction of Tom Galantich's steely Julian March you will not only listen to them you will buy it hook line and sinker.
It always brings a smirk to an audience member when the past is brought up for a contemporary audience but “42nd Street” has always been brave/lucky in being able to reference the past for a contemporary audience without appearing dated and in this age of over analysis that's more of a gift then anything.
This is a “Big Broadway Production” that is able to work in just about any location with songs that fit the plot with very little if any character development because it wins you over. You get that more then ever with the pounding performance from Kaitlyn Davidson as Peggy Sawyer and the easy charm of Drew Humphrey as Bill Lawlor.
I always felt that even with standout leads the show still belongs to the supporting roles, never was this more evident when Christine Ebersole won the Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as Dorothy Brock a role played here by Catherine Lord who uses her gorgeous tone to maximum effect here delivering “You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me” and one of my favorites “About a Quarter to Nine”. Also in the standout category is Nancy Voight's wisecracking Maggie whose able to deliver full comedy material and a piercing sound to such classics as “Go Into Your Dance,” and Shuffle Off to Buffalo”
This of course is a show that works not only due to the hard working cast on stage but the hard working crew off stage and major joy is to be found with Rachel Rockwell's detailed direction, Tammy Mader's ferocious choreography, and Nancy Missimi's dazzling costumes. This is a “42nd Street” that you should tap right over too and see as quick as you can.