Dates: 16 December, 2003 - 3 January, 2004
Venue
: The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts

Reviewer: Ed Farolan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Al Dubin

This lavish revival of the 1980 musical based on the 1933 movie which starred Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers features enthusiastic performers, eye-catching scenery, and a glittering stage full of tap, tap, tap-dancing feet. This musical is loaded with talent. And you know it as soon as the curtain rises with 24 pairs of tap-dancing feet.

I reviewed this show when it came to the Vogue theatre a few years back, but I would say that the production at the Centre is far more glittery and spectacular.

Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes, the plot takes us back to the golden days of 1930's Broadway.

As the director of the Broadway production Pretty Lady, Julian Marsh (Daren Kelly) puts his all into what may be his last show, only to face a disaster when the temperamental leading lady Dorothy Brock (Marcy McGuigan) breaks her ankle.

 

 

 

 

 

On the eve of opening night A good-hearted young understudy, Peggy Sawyer (Shannon O'Bryan) gets her big break, and, determined to make it, finally gets her chance to shine.

This is the most extravagant and lavish show I've seen here in Vancouver, and even if the Centre doesn't have a stage as big as the Queen E, the show came through with that star-spangled spectacle in the old Broadway tradition. Harry Warren's melodies and Al Dubin's lyrics are memorable, particularly "I only have eyes for you", "Lullaby of Broadway", and "42nd Street".

All the behind-the-scenes atmosphere feels very genuine, and the script truly reflects, from my experience as a former theatre actor and director, what happens backstage before and during performances...the pressure, intensity, stage fright, etc.

Congratulations to Director Mark Bramble and Choreographer Randy Skinner and to all the performers, particularly Daren Kelly, Marcy McGuigan and Shannon O'Bryan for a job well done.

2003, Ed Farolan

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