Review: 42nd Street, Wales Millennium Centre

Rachel Howells reviews the classic musical, 42nd Street, playing Wales Millennium Centre’s Donald Gordon Theatre until August 19, 2023.

Shuffling its way into the Wales Millennium Centre this week with fantastic dance and tap routines is the iconic musical, 42nd Street, directed by Jonathan Church. Timeless and inspiring, the showbiz fairy-tale which follows the exploits of Broadway newcomer, Peggy Sawyer as she joins the ensemble of director Julian Marsh’s new show, Pretty Girl  includes backstage intrigue, classic romance and delightful comedy with dazzling effect. 

42nd Street features  a hit parade of toe-tapping songs including 42nd Street, We’re In The Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off To Buffalo and I Only Have Eyes For You.

As the overture ended, we heard that Julian Marsh is doing a Show!  This leads into a breath-taking ensemble tap dance routine setting the scene for the auditions for this very show.  We meet Peggy Sawyer, fresh off the bus from small-town America, 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…

Owning every moment as Peggy Sawyer, Rhianna Dorris gave an outstanding performance, as we follow the development from the new cast member, messing up in rehearsals to blowing everyone away with her finale dance.

Michael Praed equally wowed us all with his suave performance of Julian Marsh, the theatre director and particularly his performance of Lullaby of Broadway.

Samantha Womack combines comedy with drama in her portrayal of the original stage diva, Dorothy Brock. The scene featuring Dorothy performing The Shadow Waltz with her projected shadows against the theatre curtain gained much laughter from the audience as the shadows twist, turn and expand along with Brock’s ego.

There are also outstanding performances from Erica-Jayne Alden as Lorraine Fleming, Faye Tozer as Maggie jones, Les Dennis as Bert Barry, Oliver Farnworth as Pat Denning and Sam Lips as Billy Lawler. All of which contributed, along with the ensemble, to make 42nd Street the one essential tap-tastic experience!

Don’t miss this stage show classic as it continues its run at Wales Millennium Centre’s Donald Gordon Theatre until August 19.

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