Tuesday September 23rd 2014

” 42nd Street”

Do you hear that tapping? It is taking place in Lincolnshire up in the North Shore, but the tapping of the feet of the dancers in “42nd Street” now on stage at Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre can be heard from Wisconsin to Indiana and all points in between. What a marvelous piece of work! Marriott is one of the leaders in theater marketing andone thing is for sure, they know the market they attract ( with probably the largest subscription base in the theater community, Anywhere!) and the selection process in which they select their season is great for filling theirseats with theater audiences. While they are in a class alone in their numbers, they know that their subscribers are into classic musical theater ( “Guys and Dolls:,”Fiddler on The Roof” and “Brigadoon”to name a few and their current production, “42nd Street” with book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble and music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this is a musical based on the novel by Bradford Ropes, which was then made into a movie andthen a little over 30 years ago became one of the greatest musicals to ever hit Broadway! This is a show that is filled with “tap” dancing andone that can only raise your spirits, no matter what is going on in your life!The movie ( for those of you old enough to remember was a Busby Berkeley production with big production numbers at a time of a depressed economy that was the saving grace for Warner Brothers Studios, who was very near to bankruptcy at the time. When people are depressed they seek something to take their minds off the world events and guess what? We need this as much today as we did back in the 1930′s. Well, don’t we?

The show is set during the depression in New York. Director Julian Marsh ( a glorious performance by Tom Galantich) with the help of some financing from his star’s “sugar daddy Abner Dillon ( another fine job by the always reliable Roger Mueller) is putting on a new show in order to stage a comeback. His star,Dorothy Brock ( deftly handled by Catherine Lord) has aged a bit and cannot do some of the dance routines, but because she has star status and her boyfriend is putting up the money, she is the star. The ensemble is excited to leave the breadlines and get back to work. From the very start f this solid production directed by Rachel Rockwell ( who knows how to get all she can from an actor) and wonderful choreography by Tammy Mader, we know we are in for a treat. As the overture ( musical direction by Doug Peck who is by far the best in our area, if not the entire Midwest) leads into the show, we watch our first tap number as the chorus people are learning routines for this new show. This is handled by Andrew Lupp ( one of Marriott’s finest in song, acting and in particular “tap”- he is marvelous) as Andy Lee, dance captain. In comes the starry-eyed girl from Allentown Pa, who has come to New York to become a star ( deliciously played by Kaitlyn Davidson), Miss Dorothy Sawyer with no experience, but a quick learner, lots of talent and a wonderful personality, the other cast members become her new family. Ms Brock of course, does not feel good about what might be her future replacement in the eyes of not only audiences, but Mr.marsh as well.

During their process of preparation for their out-of-town opening, these two ladies have an accident which leaves Dorothy unable to perform and Peggy is fired. The ensemble members, about to lose their jobs and income convince Marsh that she would be the only one that could possibly take Ms Brock’s place and make this show a reality. Being a classical musical, that of the “happy ending” , we know what happens and we love every moment of it. Lets face it, during down times, a happy ending is really a nice thing to experience. While some of you may not know the show, it is the perfect musical with a feel good story line andfeatures songs like “You’re Getting To Be  A habit With Me”,”We’re In The Money”, “Lullaby of Broadway”, “Shuffle off to Buffalo” ( an adorable number where the female ensemble gets to shine along with  the incredible  Bert ( Michale Weber), Annie ( Ericka Mac) and Maggie ( welcome back Nancy Voigts- you have been missed and now that the girls are doing their thing- I am in hopes you will be gracing even more stages of our area), and of course , the title song “Forty Second Street”. These are incredible songs that allow for some of the greatest tap numbers I have ever seen and make this production the perfect piece to take you away from anything in life that may be “buggng you”.

As Marriott is an “arena” theater sets are very limited, but Thomas M. Ryan does make what he does a great addition to the production as does Jesse Klug (lighting) and Nancy Missimi ( costumes) and Sally Weiss’s props ( a very important part of a show with scant sets) I preach on a regular basis to the importance of the ensemble and “42nd Street” is one of the best examples of how this is so. This group of singers/dancers is flawless in every detail and no matter how solid the leads are, without this strong ensemble, the show could never reach the heights it has: Drew Humphrey,Adam Pelty, Dina DiCostanza,Johanna McKenzie Miller, Katheryn Patton,Tiffany Topol,Melissa Zaremba,Gary Carlson,Matthew Crowle,Jenny Guse,Patrick Keefe, Richard Strimer, Steven Spanopoulos,Ashton Napier and Matt Raftery(one o Mrriott’s special multi talents) These energetic, talented dancers/singers  are what makes this show one that should be seen!

“42nd Street” will continue at Marriott Lincolnshire resort through  May 29th with performances as follows: Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday a 8 p.m.,Saturday at 4:30 and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 5 p.m.

Tickets range from $41-$49 with some dinner packages available for$55- students and seniors save $5 and as always loads of FREE parking.

To purchase your tickets visit the box office, call 847-634-0200 or visit www.ticketmaster.com  .

Want more info on the show or some of the marvelous restaurants on premise , visit www.MarriottTheatre.com .

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