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Reviewed: 42nd Street at Curve

Good mood guaranteed!

A light-up Broadway staircase in 42nd Street the musical on stage at Curve Theatre Leicester

An evening out to see 42nd Street at Curve won’t disappoint. It’s a razzling-dazzling, glittering spectacle.

This Made At Curve co-production of one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, directed by Jonathan Church (Singin’ In The Rain, The Drifters Girl), features iconic toe-tappers like ‘We’re in the Money’, ‘42nd Street’ and ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’.

Performers tell the story of a young beautiful Peggy Sawyer who arrives in New York City dreaming of her name in lights. She quickly catches the eye of a big-time director and lands a spot in the chorus line of Broadway’s newest show. When the leading lady gets injured, Peggy gets her shot at stardom.

It’s a backstage musical that lets you in on the realistic goings on and relationships of those whose stage smiles mask their real lives.

Ruthie Henshall and Les Dennis in 42nd Street the musical on stage at Curve Theatre Leicester

The star cast is made up of Ruthie Henshall, Adam Garcia and Les Dennis, as well as Nicole-Lily Baisden as Peggy Sawyer. The principal actors deliver stunning, stirring vocals that help tell their character’s narratives.

Olivier Award winners Bill Deamer and Rob Jones choreographed this timeless show-biz musical. Pulling off a flawless performance, the talented ensemble come together seamlessly making dance numbers irresistible and immersive.

Nicole-lily Baisden in 42nd Street the musical on stage at Curve Theatre Leicester

Tantalising tap entranced this audience, eyes practically glued to the stage in unblinking awe. If you don’t know the show, you’re still bound to recognise the iconic ‘stair dance’. It’s a complicated and elaborate number that includes most, if not all, of the cast tapping up and down the glowing staircase in perfect sync.

One dancer that particularly stood out was Sarah Marie Maxwell as Ann (Anytime Annie) Reilly. Her stage presence was undeniable and she could always be picked out immediately in large ensemble numbers and scenes.

An impressive set and glitzy Broadway costumes are stars in themselves. Huge staircases, towering set pieces and flashing lights highlight the depth of the stage, making for complete escapism as you get lost in the stage. And sparkling costumes that glimmer and shine around the auditorium transport you to a New York Broadway stage.

The cast of 42nd Street the musical in glittering blue costumes on stage at Curve Theatre Leicester

Projections also make up the set. Black and white motion graphics of 1930’s New York during The Great Depression sink away behind the colourful, larger-than-life cast and staging, suggesting that escapism from the a devastating economic crash is possible in the theatre.

What takes this escapism to the next level is the rich sound of the orchestra in the pit of the stage bringing to life the spirit of Broadway. That live element of the show is one not all too often seen in Curve’s selection of shows.

A ticket to see 42nd Street at Curve is well worth it. Good mood guaranteed, this iconic musical is not to be missed.

It's on at Curve until June 3 before going on tour around the country.


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