42nd Street: A Dazzling Extravaganza

42nd Street
Vogue Theatre
April 30-May 14
Reservations: 280-4444

Reviewer: Ed Farolan

The costumes, the nostalgia, the songs, the tap dancing--all these and more give 42nd Street the dazzling extravaganza that a Broadway musical hit was in the old days. Right after the stock market crash of 1929, there was a resurgence of hope in America. And this hope came about because of musicals like "Gold Diggers of 1933" and "42nd Street" which uplifted spirits and gave both movie and theatre goers hope for better times.

In 42nd Street, Peggy Sawyer (Cheri Condon), a mere chorus girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania, steps into the shoes of the leading lady so that the show can go on. These popular "backstage" musicals offered a glimpse of the musical theatre world where hard work and lucky breaks triumphed.The Troika Organization headed by CEO Nicholas Howey, a Ph.D. Theatre graduate from Wayne State University in Detroit, has produced musicals for over 20 years including Grease!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Carousel.

Vogue Theatre which still conserves the architecture of what theatres looked like in the good ol' days is the ideal venue for productions such as 42nd Street. The nostalgic ambience of the theatre itself combined with the clickety-clack of a tap dancing chorus captured the hearts of Vancouver audiences who were tippity-tapping with the dancers in show-stopping numbers such as "We're in the Money" and "Lullaby of Broadway". The popular hit "I only have eyes for you" sung by leading lady Dorothy Brock (Rebecca George) was simply beautiful! Kathy Halenda who plays the compassionate mother figure Maggie Jones is a reminder of the powerful and gutsy Ethel Merman.

Kudos to Director and Choreographer Tony Parise for an excellent job. The actors, from looking at their biodata, are graduates in Theatre, Dance and Music from different colleges and universities in the USA. Cheri Condon who plays the dumb but talented blonde Peggy Sawyer has a B.F.A. Cum Laude from the Boston Conservatory, and Robert Sheridan who is perfectly cast as Julian Marsh, the hard-driving director, has a B.A. in Theatre from Elmira Colllege, New York.

The team work and the dance timing is great, and the costumes are dazzling and impeccable. This show is a must see especially for tickets as low as $19.50! Only in Vancouver can ticket prices go this low!