Alhambra 42nd Street

42nd Street: A Song & Dance Extravaganza

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.

About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.