"Where the underworld can meet the elite... Naughty Bawdy Gaudy Sporty Forty-Second Street!" I was lucky enough to be invited to the first preview of 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and whilst any official opinions about the show are under embargo until press night, I thought I'd give you all some hints and teasers and a little sneak preview (assisted by these beautiful photographs courtesy of Brinkhoff & Moegenburg) through these 42 reasons to see 42nd Street.
1Where else are you going to see a cast of over 50? 2Just look at them
3It has got someone from off the telly in it, so that even if people haven't heard of the show, they'll know 'him from Emmerdale 4Here he is, Carl King himself aka Tom Lister
12It's directed by one of its co-authors Mark Bramble 13It won the Tony for Best Musical in 1981 14It won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 1984 15(That's the production that launched the career of Catherine Zeta-Jones from second understudy for Peggy Sawyer to leading lady) 16It also won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical in 2001 17So history could well repeat itself at the 2018 Oliviers! 18Speaking of awards, not only is Sheena Easton a 2 time Grammy Award winner, she won one of them for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1985. Who knew?! 19And here she is as Dorothy
20And her standby is CJ Johnson who'll always be in my good books for being a part of The Light Princess company 21fosterIAN award nominee for The Grinning Man Stuart Neal is Billy Lawlor and he's just lovely 22Peggy is played by Clare Halse (who was Marjorie May in Gypsy) who explodes with choreographic delight here 23Just look at her
25Although I'm not quite sure how Dorothy was ever going to manage that finale (a plot hole we'll just skate over) 26Likewise we'll not mention the word understudy either... 27For like many a dance-heavymusical, it's all just fun and games 28The girls look good
29The boys look good too
30Roger Kirk's costumes are a constant treat 31In all their rainbow-hued delight
32Douglas W Schmidt's set design is iconic 33Even when it is evoking Celebrity Squares
34Steps are back
35No, I meant these kind of steps…
36On which Randy Skinner's choreography is a tap-dancing marvel 37It really is 38The hit rate of its big production numbers is extraordinary 39There's a move in the finale which is a thing of real wonder 40Which almost makes you want to take up tap lessons 41And all in all, it serves as a lasting tribute to Gower Champion, the director and choreographer of the original production who, in one of those horrible twists of fate, died just hours before its opening night 42Last up, it's got a Kate, a Katharine, a Katie and a Katy in the cast and well isn't that fun.