The musical comedy “42nd Street” reached the Carson Center in Paducah, Kentucky this past weekend.
The play takes place in New York during the 1930s. The show starts with the lead, Peggy, arriving too late to audition for big time Broadway director Julian Marsh’s new musical “Pretty Lady.” She nevertheless catches the eye of Mr. Marsh, who gives her a spot in the chorus. “Pretty Lady” stars diva Dorothy Brock. Brock only has the lead role because her boyfriend is funding the musical. Brock instantly dislikes Peggy after the latter has to use Brock’s dressing room.
On the opening night of “Pretty Lady”, Peggy accidentally bumps into Dorothy, causing Dorothy’s ankle to break and preventing her from perforing in the show. In a fit of rages Marsh fires Peggy. Upon being told by the rest of the cast that Peggy is the only hope for the show to continue, however, Marsh chases after her with hopes that she will come back to be his leading lady.
The show features a typical small-town-to-stardom plotline. Although the script was not anything to marvel over–there is not much character development throughout the musical, and there were often times the characters were nearly indistinguishable from one another–the dancing was incredible. The tap dancing really kept the audience’s attention and the choreography helped all of the characters move so rhythmically together. The catchy songs tied into the late jazz era setting, although some of them seemed to stray from the point of the storyline. Regardless, the music was so upbeat and rhythmic that the audience could not help but to dance along in their seats. The show really leaves the audience wanting to see more of its kind, and in some cases, possibly a newfound interest in the performing arts.