Friday, 26 May 2017
From the moment the curtain rises on an impressive chorus line of tap-dancing feet, 42nd Street swings into the high-energy song and dance routines that have made it one of the world’s best-loved musical comedies.
Set in Depression-era New York, 42nd Street spins the classic showbiz tale of a young hopeful hoping to join the cast of her first Broadway show. When fading star Dorothy Brock breaks her leg onstage, director Julian Marsh plucks young Peggy Sawyer out of the ensemble and makes her a star.
Since its premiere in 1980, 42nd Street has picked up a swag of awards, including a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical. Now Perth audiences can enjoy 42nd Street’s brilliant dance routines, synchronized tap ensembles and memorable tunes – including such musical theatre gems as We’re in the Money, Lullaby of Broadway and the show-stopping title song – when the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts brings this all-time favourite Broadway musical comedy to the stage of the Regal Theatre from Saturday 17 to Saturday 24 June.
42nd Street is directed by award-winning Sydney based director, Jason Langley (Dusty - The Musical, Loving Repeating), who returns to WAAPA after directing its sold-out season of Legally Blonde in 2015. Langley has a lot of experience working with WAAPA’s talented students and alumni and he is relishing working with the Academy’s current crop of triple threat performers in its biggest annual production. “42nd Street is a challenging show with many difficulties to negotiate for an actor but the young cast have risen to these challenges with a spectacular determination.”
With 40 performers on stage and some of the flashiest dance numbers in showbiz, it’s reassuring to know that internationally renowned choreographer, Lisa O’Dea (Mary Poppins, We Will Rock You, Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia, Cats), is on-hand to share her considerable experience of over 35 years as one of Australia’s most in-demand industry professionals.
Jason Langley is thrilled to be producing this show alongside Lisa O’Dea. “Being a famous 'dance' musical, Lisa has to deal with this enormous cast. Her rehearsal is jam-packed, while I'm usually dealing with only eight cast members at the most. In order to create the many complex routines, Lisa and I had to begin our conversations and preparation eight months ago to form a blueprint for our production. In order to effectively manage a cast of 40, Lisa arrives at each rehearsal with an impressive series of choreographic notations on paper and proceeds to create magic from nothing. She's amazing in action!”
Another incredible mentor and professional bringing their wealth of experience to this production is multi-award-winning Lighting Designer, Mark Howett whose West End Lighting Credits include Cabaret 2012 and Dreamboats and Petticoats in 2009 and 2013. Mark has won multiple Helpmann and Green Room awards and he was also Coordinator of the Lighting course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, from 1996 to 2000. He is currently the artistic director of Ochre Contemporary Dance Co.
The 18-piece orchestra made up of WAAPA’s finest classical, jazz and contemporary musicians is led by Head of Music Theatre, David King. The show’s extravagant set and costumes are, this year, the work of two recent graduates from WAAPA’s Production and Design program. Designer, Tyler Hill graduated in 2015 and Costume Designer, Sarah Duyvestyn graduated in 2014. Both are incredible in their own fields and have already picked up work with Black Swan State Theatre Company. Based on their designs a dedicated and talented group of Costume and Props & Scenery students will realise their vision, building over 180 costumes and the flashiest set Perth has seen since Matilda. There is also a small army of Sound, Lighting and Stage Management students working hard on each of their respective areas, to present to the people of Perth a highly polished and professional production. By far and away the best value full-scale musical to be staged in Western Australia this year!
For all venue and performance details or to purchase tickets, please visit the Ticketek website.