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42nd Street - Milton Keynes Theatre

42nd Street is a taptastic extravaganza. This week Milton Keynes Theatre takes you on a journey to 42nd street. With its irrepressible spirit of Broadway, its guaranteed to lift anyone’s spirits. It is a totally stunning show!

For those who don’t know the story it’s a classic. It’s set in the 1930’s during the depression. Finding work is hard and especially if you are working in the arts. However, Julien Marsh is putting on a new show, Pretty Lady, and everyone wants an audition to be in the show. Sometimes fate lends a hand and sure enough, Peggy Sawyer who is fresh off the bus from small-town America, arrives in New York dreaming of her name in lights. She quickly lands a spot in the chorus line. She can out-dance everyone in the show and when the leading lady gets injured, Peggy gets her shot of stardom.

Peggy is played by Nicole-Lily Baisden and she is simply outstanding. Her acting and singing are fantastic, but its her dancing that is truly breath-taking. And when she smiles she lights up the room. I could watch Nicole play Peggy every night. Dorothy Brock is the lead actress in Pretty Lady. And she can sing and act, but unfortunately not dance. Julien is not keen but her love interest is funding the show so she gets the part. Dorothy is played by Samantha Womack. Sam is always superb and I certainly feel she gives the part her all. There were nuances in her acting that made me feel melancholic for Dorothy. Sam is such a wonderfully talented actress and delivers a masterclass in acting.

Maggie Jones is one of the song writers for Pretty Lady. Maggie is played by Faye Tozer and wow – what a performance. Not only does Faye nail the accent, but has the character of Maggie down to a fine art. I remember seeing Faye when she first did Tell Me On A Sunday and was impressed with her then, but to see how much she has honed her acting skills is exceptional. She deserves high praise for this role. Faye is so much more than a member of Steps (and I love Steps). Michael Praed plays Julian March. He is fantastic in the role and unrecognisable as Robin for those who remember Robin Of Sherwood. He delivers a solid performance. The whole cast ensemble were outstanding. After all, this is a show where the whole cast need to bring it and bring it, they did. The dance numbers are truly out of this world. I love a bit of tap so felt utterly spoilt with all the amazing dance routines. There are some classic numbers in the show including We’re In The Money, Lullaby Of Broadway, Shuffle Off To Buffalo and I Only Have Eyes For You. I also loved the use of technology that transported us back to 1930’s New York with its imagery at the start of the show. The show is supported by a full orchestra too.

It’s truly a spectacular show that transports you back to the golden age of musicals and I loved loved loved it. If you fancy going down to 42nd street, its at Milton Keynes Theatre until 2 September and then continues its UK tour.


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