Now three decades old but with its heart set firmly back in the razzle dazzle 1930’s the multi Tony Award winning musical 42nd Street is back on the road. It’s a timely revival too bringing some much needed sparkle and glam back to a country that’s being relentlessly battered by the weather on one side and the economy on the other. Actually the musical’s setting, the great depression of 1933, and its theme of ‘the show must go on’ couldn’t be more appropriate right now...just add that routine from ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ and it would be pretty much the perfect ‘keep calm and carry on’ night out.
The stars of the show, musical stalwarts Marti Webb (celebrating an incredible half century in musical theatre) and local boy made good Dave Willets, are both in fine voice injecting plenty of emotion, especially in their solo numbers (Webb’s I Only Have Eyes For You and Willets show closing 42nd Street). Jessica Punch captures the talented but accident prone Peggy perfectly, getting some great laughs during the second act, and Graham Hoadly is delightfully theatrical as Bert Barry. It’s the full company numbers that really steal the limelight though with a number of taptastic routines mainlining glam right into your frontal lobe. Heightened by the simple but effective staging (the use of lighting and mirrors worked particularly well) the magical spirit of ol’ Busby Berkeley was well and truly bought back to life. Add some distinctly sparkly costumes from a recent US production and some gorgeous 30’s style ozone-layer-busting hair dos and it was easy to lose yourself in tapland right from the moment the curtain went up. An irresistible dose of glitz guaranteed to brighten even the dullest of days
WinkBall video reporters were in attendance to gather the views and reactions from the good people of Birmingham on Tuesday, 10th of July, 2012, both outside and inside the glorious New Alexandra Theatre.