The Alhambra Theatre and Dining welcomed spring by opening their second show of 2010 with the dance-happy Tony Award winning musical 42nd Street. This musical about musicals, based on a 1933 film of the same name, will grace the Alhambra stage at 12000 Beach Blvd in Jacksonville until April 25th.
The plot is about the desire of Broadway Director Julian Marsh (Dan Schiff) for one more hit show so he can recoup his stock market losses and retire. Abner Dillon (Earyle Rhodes) is his wealthy financial backer, Dorothy Brock (Patti Eyler) his temperamental diva, Peggy Sawyer (Erin Dowling) a hopeful chorus girl from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Billy Lawlor (Timothy Ellis) a terrific tenor who has the hots for Peggy. As Pretty Lady, the show within the show, progresses, the company struggles with broken hearts and broken promises. When Dorothy breaks her ankle prior to the New York opening, understudy Peggy has to replace her to save the show, leading Director Marsh to utter the most famous line from the show: “You’re going out there a youngster but you’ve got to come back a star!”
The charm and fascination is not so much in the story but in Director Tod Booth’s fast-paced show about backstage atmosphere, that is loaded with a great cast, who sing and dance up a storm, performing such great hits as “42nd Street,” “We’re in the Money,” “You’re Getting to Be A Habit with Me,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and “Shuffle Off to Buffalo.”
Other Interesting characters are Alhambra veterans Tony Triano and Lisa Valdini as Bert Barry and Maggie Jones, the creators of the Pretty Lady. The three principal male dancers, Brandon Arrington, Shane Lord, and L. A. Pauza III join four attractive young ladies, Allison Hupp, Allison Rose Davis, Kelli Sleigh and Erin Dowling, in some fabulous razzle-dazzle dancing that includes some of the best tap dancing ever seen on the Alhambra stage in its 40-year history. Choreographer Jeremy Dumont makes his professional choreography debut with this show. He has fascinated local audiences with his dancing in past shows, and fans still talk about his appearance as Cosmo in Singing in the Rain. Great job Jeremy, you know your stuff. Alan Haller as Oscar the piano player, Jef Canter as Pat Denning, Dorothy’s paramour, and Stanley Williams as the thug round out the cast.