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42nd Street at Croswell Opera House August 4, 2013

Posted by ronannarbor in Broadway Musicals, musical theater, Musicals.
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Its bad form to review a show in a season for which one auditioned for, so I will refrain from any character reviews in this post, but a big congratulations to director Jen Letherer, Musical Director/Conductor Jonathan Sills, and Choreographer Allison Steele for a terrific and entertaining production of 42nd Street at Croswell Opera House.

From opening sequence to finale, the show is an example of what Croswell does best during its summer seasons — great dancing, performing, singing, scenic and costume design — and in this case throw hair design in there as well. The cast is all ages, sizes, and shapes, and they turn in high-energy performances. Old vets mingle beautifully with newcomers. The only name I will mention (pardon bad form) is the simply stellar performance turned in by Erica Wyman as Dorothy Brock.

Always one of my favorite musicals, 42nd Street is brought to life here by Jen Letherer’s perfectly timed direction, and a strong singing/dancing/acting cast that don’t miss a beat (though the lights occasionally do). Allison Steele’s choreography looks great for the featured dancers, and really good for the non-dancers in the cast — in some sequences you really can’t tell the difference unless you have a trained dancers eye.

Michael Lackey’s scenic design moves quickly and looks slick — particularly nice is the Broad Street Station design, a double-deck Regency Hotel set, and the use of the natural Croswell Opera House back wall.

Jen Letherer gets vintage 30’s sounding patter out of her performers, which adds a lot to the sparse book. Lines are well delivered throughout, and Jonathan Sill’s musical direction assures that every syllable is understandable..even the infamous “slims and all curvy, sweet shy and nervy” which even the Original Broadway cast manages to mangle as “Simpson O’Curry sweet Charlotte Murphy”…Great job!

When everything clicks on all cylinders, 42nd Street is a hard musical to resist. Its billed as the musical for musical lovers. It is. Go see it. It continues through next weekend at Croswell Opera House in Adrian — croswell.org for tickets.


Stunning “42nd Street” by University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program April 18, 2009

Posted by ronannarbor in Theatre.
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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — there is absolutely nobody that presents more professional musical theatre regionally than the University of Michigan Musical Theatre program. Recently celebrating it’s 25th birthday, the program is going strong, with graduates consistently working on Broadway and nationwide.

Nowhere is this professionalism more evident than in Linda Goodrich’s production of the musical theatre chestnut 42nd Street running this weekend at the Power Center. This is the second time she has directed this musical for UM, the last time in 1995 and the first UM show I had the privilege of seeing myself. This current production is equally stunning.

Bryan Langlitz plays Billy Lawlor and Mary Michael Patterson plays Peggy Sawyer, both to perfection. The cast is uniformly strong, and the tap is just spectacular. I’d venture to say they actually look more in-sync than some Broadway Tour companies, partly due to the sheer amount of time dedicated to teaching and perfecting the many dance numbers in classes as well as rehearsal each day.

The following photos give you a sample of the production. I’d urge you to beg, borrow, or steal tickets to see it while you may — and in reality, that is the only way you can — every single performance is sold out in the 1400 seat theatre.

Bravo UMMT — and a great big Brava to Linda~~

0809-42nd0110809-42nd0910809-42nd2810809-42nd3410809-42nd441(note: All photos courtesy of UM Musical Theatre Program, copyright University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program, 2009)