BWW Review: 42ND STREET at Centrestage Theatre Company Orewa
Director: Alexandra Grice
Choreographer: Gemma Boswell
Assistant Choreographer: Jackson Howes
Musical Directors: Courtney Noble and Bickio O'Callahan
Centrestage Theatre Company 's production of '42nd Street' fills the stage and raises the roof in honour of a glitzy classic from the glorious '30s.
The story, based on the 1933 Warner Brothers movie, is the ultimate backstage fairytale. The big musical 'Pretty Lady' is on its out-of-town try-out in Philadelphia when its star breaks her ankle. But just as the tyrannical director, Julian Marsh, is about to close the show, the cast implores him to let one of the chorus members, Peggy Sawyer, take over. She has 36 hours in which to learn six songs, 10 dances and 25 pages of dialogue in time for the New York opening but she does it - prompting Marsh to utter the now famous line: "You're going out a youngster but you're going to come back a star."
It is the razzle-dazzle glitzy-glamour singin' and dancin' performances that make this show a hit. The musical numbers are high powered, high energy with tap dances that would challenge a pro and the CentreStage cast put in a mighty effort with many a notable performance.
The good old greats "We're in the Money', 'Lullaby of Broadway' and of course '42nd Street' were all sung and danced with gusto but the lesser-known songs including 'There's a Sunny Side to Every Situation" (Hollie Powderley, Riley Druce, Kate Sampson, Gabby Bourne, Jemma Goeldner and Skyler Jed) and 'About a Quarter to Nine' (Megan O'Reilly and Geena Hutton) were made memorable.
Leading ladies Megan O'Reilly playing Dorothy Brock and Geena Hutton as Peggy Sawyer are both powerhouses of talent.
O'Reilly certainly channels her inner diva, stepping into the role like a hand in a glove. She plays up her 'past her use by date' persona until she sings and dances revealing talent galore and matching her onstage rival, Hutton, step for step, kick for kick and voice for voice.
The orchestra was absolutely on point in this production. Fabulous! Kudos to all involved. I'm usually impatient in an overture but I, along with the rest of the audience was drawn into the great music that the orchestra gave such life and energy to. Superb! I wanted to lean over the orchestra pit at the end, savouring one last piece of the magic, unwilling to break the spell. I managed a quick chat with Trumpeter Richard Breed who was filling in for a few performances. It's not easy to get these top quality musicians and then to have them swap in and out and still produce the totally excellent synergy. Accolades to Musical Directors Courtney Noble and Bickio O'Callahan.
The show exudes youthful charisma and vitality. The gala night we attended highlighted support for the theatre facilities.
When you have charismatic performers that include, (but not limited to!)
Kate Sampson, Carlin Diprose, Skyler Jed and 'boy that boy can dance' Josh Morris, you know that it's worth digging deep and supporting a quality venue for quality talent to provide quality entertainment for the community.