Before electronic media seized the lion's share of our youth's attention bandwidth, a certain dream of starry-eyed aspiring actors held popular allure in cities and towns across the U.S. That dream was Broadway, the Great White Way, bright marquees, and the ultimate: singing, dancing, and conversing in the spotlight.
The infectious spirit of this dream is evident throughout Boulder's Dinner Theatre's revival of 42nd Street, the story of kids from across the country who come to the Big Apple, looking for that big break, which Peggy Sawyer (Katie Ulrich) gets (literally) when the aging prima donna, Dorothy Brock (Alicia Dunfee), breaks her ankle. Musical theatre aficionados love to be taken backstage and let in on the behind-the-scenes drama, and this musical provides that in spades, as Peggy arrives from Allenstown, PA, to audition for the legendary impresario, Julian Marsh (John Scott Clough), who's trying to regain his touch, after a recent flop.
|(L to R) Bob Hoppe as Andy Lee,|
Johnny Stewart as Billy Lawlor,
Katie Ulrich as Peggy Sawyer,
John Scott Clough as Julian Marsh,
and Wayne Kennedy as Bert Barry
Ulrich exudes the small town idealism and innocent charm by which Peggy captures the hearts of Julian and Billy Lawlor (Johnny Stewart), a handsome young fellow from the ensemble. Clough is a debonair and seasoned Julian, whose attraction to Peggy is more nostalgia than physical, a departure from the 1933 Warner Brothers film musical and the 1980 stage musical (which won Best Musical and Best Choreography), but it works in this day and age, with the story focusing on Peggy's talent, and not her love interest. Stewart is winsome as randy Billy, who puts the moves on Peggy. Dunfee handles the difficult task of transforming the imperious Dorothy into a concerned mentor.
|(L to R) Alicia Dunfee as Dorothy Brock|
and Katie Ulrich as Peggy Sawyer
Director Michael J. Duran and choreographer Tracy Warren keep the action uptempo throughout. The tap numbers are fab.
When Julian hurries to the railroad station to convince Peggy to stay and give it another shot, his "Lullaby of Broadway" makes us want to update our head shot and head east to join in the fun!
Boulder's Dinner Theatre's presentation of 42nd Street runs through February 16th, 2013. For more information: 303-449-6000 or www.bouldersdinnertheatre.com.