Theatre Mirror Reviews - "42nd Street"

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note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Larry Stark


"42nd Street"

Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble
(based on the novel "42nd Street" by Bradford Ropes) Directed & Choreography by Michael Susko
Musical Direction by F. Wade Russo

Assistant Choreographer Gregory Daniels
Scenic Design by Janie Howland
Costume Supervision by David Cabraal
Costumed provided by Tracy Theater Originals
Lighting Design by Jeff Adelberg
Sound Design by Marathon Sound Systems
Props Master Megan K. Simmons
Wig Design & Make-Up by Rachel Padula
Production Manager Don Curioso
Productiont Stage Manager Patsy Collins
Stage Manager Maura Neff

Dorothy Brock........Lindsey Larson
Peggy Sawyer............Riley Krull
Maggie Jones.........Jennifer Cohen
Anytime Annie........Mara Gabrielle
Phyllis Dale..........Ashley Kenney
Lorraine Flemming......Kelly Martin
Julian Marsh..........Brennan Roach
Bert Barry.............Dan O'Connor
Billy Lawlor.........Steven Cardona
Andy Lee..........David Christensen
Oscar....................Lee Skunes
Pat Denning............Cory Stewart
Abner Dillon............Trent Mills
Mac/Doc/Thug..............Dane Reis
ENSEMBLE
Taylor Avazpour, Whitney Conkling, Caley Crawford, Suzanne Dupree, Stephanie Gandolfo, Bryan Hunt, Eric Johnson, Carolyn Miller, Stephanie Moscal, Ramone Owens, Greg Pember, Daniel Plimpton, Rob Rodems, Edward Tolve, Chelsea Turbin, Santina Umbach

ORCHESTRA
Conductor.....................F. Wade Russo
Flute..........................Na Young Ham
Clarinet/Soprano & Alto Sax.....Brent Beech
Flute/Piccolo..................Emily Wilson
Clarinet....................David Dziardiel
Alto Saxophone..................Eric Hewitt
Clarinet/Tenor Sax..............Sean Wright
Clarinet/Tenor Sax.........Nicole Kuchinski
Clarinet/Bass Clarinet.....Zachary Bisgeier
Baritone Sax....................Ben Sorrell
French Horn................Derrick Atkinson
Trumpet.....................Chris Schroeder
Trumpet.......................Loo Kit Chong
Trumpet.........................Fred Langer
Trombone.......................Dennis Smith
Bass Trombone..................Caoline Cole
Percussion....................Brian Calhoon
Harp.........................Erica Driscoll
Piano.........................Dan Rodriguez
String Bass................Daniel MacDowell

Monday, 23 March

This show closed two weeks ago. It was a one-weekend show (which I loved by the way) in a month when I've been seeing shows non-stop with no wiggle-room to stumble. Despite the high quality of work, I didn't see much advantage to the readers of reviewing something already closed.

But Barry Andelman, who arranged tickets and saw the show with me, had a fascinating comment:

"If Broadway is dying, where will these talented kids go to make a living from their craft?"

He quoted some estimate of the probable cost of a Boston Conservatory degree and wondered, talent aside, what good their acquired expertise would do them out in a real world where big, expensive theatres are going broke and seats at $70-$150 a pop are going empty.

Is A Puzzlement!

On WBUR's "MARKETPLACE" business-news program, when their daily stock-market report goes down they play "Stormy Weather" and when it goes up it's "We're In The Money!"
In "42nd Street" that song is supposedly a number in the show being rehearsed in 1933. It's introduced by three kids trying the chewing-gum-and-string gimmick of fishing a coin out of a sidewalk-grate. When it's --- a penny? A whole nickel? No, ................. It's a DIME! --- they burst into that song and the entire chorus rolls out to tap-dance on dime-shaped drums.

When Busby Berkeley made the original movie in '33 he could fill his screens with dozens and dozens of "hoofers" all doing the same step over and over till people applauded. Why? because dozens and dozens of hoofers were talented yet out of work and jumped at the chance to make money doing what they'd trained to do.

In 1935, after a few years of WPA shovel-ready projects put some people to work, the New Deal invented a Works Project Administration to deal with more esoteric workmen still unemployed --- like mural-painters and novelists and, wonder of wonders, a FEDERAL THEATRE that put actors and hoofers and stage-hands to work, and started careers for such people as Arthur Miller, Orson Welles, John Houseman, Martin Ritt, Elia Kazan, Joseph Losey, Marc Blitzstein and dozens and dozens of other talented people eager to earn money at their chosen professions.

It lasted only four short years.

Oddly enough, in a year when NSMT and Foothills Theatre are in financial difficulties and nearly every smaller company in Boston is holding benefit-nights and sending begging-letter mailings, the work on our stages is, on all levels, the best I've ever seen. I'm told four different companies have started up here recently that are doing shows For Donations Only. Apparently dozens and dozens of gifted people who know they can't make money at it are nonetheless making theater, just for Love.

I don't know where the huge "all takling, all singing, all dancing" cast of "42nd Street" will be working after graduation. But if they let me know, I'll bust my ass to get there.

Some things are worth it.
And I don't mean in money...

"42nd Street" (4 - 8 March)
BOSTON CONSERVATORY THEATER ENSEMBLE
31 Hemenway Street, BOSTON, MA
1(617)536-6340

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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