What has 76 legs, mountains of spangles and oozes with old school charm and delight? The answer is easy, 42nd Street the musical now tapping its way through the Windy City. This celebration of “making it big” on the Great White Way will charm Chicago audiences thoroughly. The non-Equity tour from Troika Entertainment, cuts no corners on the stage, while featuring a full scale cast of 38 fresh faced talented tappers. This hoard of hoofers will astound, dazzle and amaze. I must admit, I am a sucker for a well done tap number, and here there are more a half dozen performed by a troupe who doesn’t let you see them sweat. From the opening number, where the curtain rises just high enough to focus on the ensembles’ hard working legs, much like the Rockettes’ Leggs pantyhose commercials from 1984, the remarkable Randy Skinner choreography is a dizzying display of athletic prowess. Director Mark Bramble, shrewdly strikes just the right tone of nostalgic sentiment with contemporary talent. With a book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble, music from Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this Broadway fable, with its vintage melodrama and period perfect costumes designed by Roger Kirk, 42nd Street imbues all that people enjoy in a large scale production, perfect viewing for the entire family.
It’s 1933 and Allentown ingénue, Betty Boop inspired Peggy Sawyer (Caitlin Ehlinger) comes to NYC to pursue her dream of Showbiz fame. Too bad she has arrived too late for the auditions. As luck and talent would have it, she is soon discovered and added to the chorus of the brand new show “Pretty Lady” the musical. Standing in the way of Peggy’s quest for stardom, the current diva in demand, Dorothy Brock (Kaitlin Lawrence) who is as talented as she is selfish and self-absorbed. Bankrolling this little project, Brock’s much older paramour, so tread lightly everyone. Up to the challenge, the show’s endowed director, Julian Marsh (Matthew J. Taylor) whose exceptional vocals are a grand match to his dashing good looks. An authoritative, yet sympathetic director, Marsh has much riding on the success of his latest venture. Rounding out the production team, on stage anyway, the writers, Maggie Jones (Britte Steele, doing her best Ethel Merman) and Bert Barry (Steven Bidwell). During her initial rehearsal, Sawyer is she’s so out of step with the rest of the troupe, she causes leading lady Dorothy Brock’s to tumble and break her ankle. When the show is almost cancelled, Sawyer is brought forward as the star. This squeaky clean story is no manipulative “Showgirls” to say the least. Wacky like an episode of “I Love Lucy” although this leading lady can actually sing and dance. Boy can she sing and dance. A hint of romance with the director as well and Sawyer is on her way to recognizing her dreams!
Best of all, the spectacular soundtrack is beautifully and remarkably brought to life. “We’re in the Money” might be a tongue-in-cheek response to the Great Depression, but here it is a golden, glitter-kissed end of act one, showstopper. “I Only Have Eyes For You” played as a sumptuous ballad of intense passion, “Lullaby of Broadway” an endearing and energetic feast, and the title track, a banquet of whirling and twirling talent that will thoroughly astonish. The ensemble numbers, ironically enough, are where the show really takes flight. Chicago’s own Mandy Modic can be seen nightly as a part of this talented ensemble as well. Set designer Beowulf Boritt’s lavish backdrops captivated. From the elaborate New York cityscapes, to the detailed train station, and the rehearsal rooms too, these sets are easily up to any Broadway standard. The lighting design from Ken Billington will also dazzle.
The genius of this tight and tempered 42nd Street is its a production performed so well. This two and a half hour delight is an absolute celebration of song and dance, and felt like it is utter perfection. Nostalgic yet fun, I challenge anyone to not leave and feel they have gotten their money’s worth. Since this is a non-Equity tour, let’s hope the producers are sharing that money with their hardworking cast. Genuinely exciting, lavishly scaled and lovingly fashioned, 42nd Street flies.
42nd Street is now playing through March 20th at Cadillac Palace Theatre
Events For December
Company XIV’s Seven Sins Is Back
There is even more temptation as Company XIV’s popular Seven Sins, announces their Fall schedule of performances, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting September 7. The final shows will be on Saturday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 31 ushering in grand Halloween festivities with a party to end parties!
Under the masterful hand of creator and director Austin McCormick, the cast is headed by pop star LEXXE and includes Robyn Adele Anderson, Donna Carnow, Chrissy Carpenter, Lola Carter, Erin Dillon, Alisa Mae, Alex Frankel, Hannah Gill, Syrena, Meg Iwama, Nicholas Katen, Brandon Looney, Nolan, Clairisa Patton, Scott Schneider, Chanel Stone, Marcos Antonio Vasquez. The creative team includes McCormick (Creator, Director, and Choreographer), Zane Pihlstrȍm (Costume and Scenic Design), LEXXE (Original Music), Sarah Cimino (Makeup Design), Brian Tovar (Lighting Design), Julian Evans (Sound Design) and Bryan Gonzales (Wig Design).
Join as Adam and Eve and prepare to take a bite out of your apple while watching this mystical dreamscape inspired by the fall of man and the seven deadly sins. Baroque burlesque beauties, lush design and inspired cocktails await you in one of the company’s most lavish and glittering productions to date.
“We have big plans for Théâtre XIV next year,” teases McCormick, “so this may be the last opportunity to plumb the depths of hell with us at Seven Sins for a while. “ Seven Sins incorporates everything you would want in a decadent evening of evening of awe, merriment, fun and sin! Are you ready to repent?
Single tickets prices are from $95.00 to $225.00. Théâtre XIV by Company XIV is located at 383 Troutman Street, Brooklyn, NY (Bushwick), an easy and quick trip from Manhattan on the L Train to Jefferson Street station. For information and tickets go to www.companyxiv.com
Founded in 2006 by classically trained, nightlife impresario Austin McCormick, Company XIV produces the most spectacular burlesque performances in New York City. High and lowbrow entertainment intermix with lavish design to deliver sensual, decadent extravaganzas inspired by the court of Louis XIV. With concurrent productions of Cocktail Magique—a variety show of intoxicating illusions at a luxurious new venue around the corner from Théâtre XIV— and Seven Sins, there has never been more glitter on offer in Bushwick!
Events For September
Hot time summer in the city. What is cool and what is happening is what this column is about. Get ready Labor Day starts the fall season. The US Open continues, it is the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The Feast of San Gennaro, the Curtain Up Broadway Festival continues in the Theatre District!, The Armory Show, New York Fashion Week and lots of art make NYC an exciting place to be.
Until 9/3: Shakespeare in the Park The Tempest at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
Until 9/15 The Malibu Barbie Café, at 19 Fulton Street at the South Street Seaport. Each reservation includes your choice of entree and side item, full access to the Barbie Cafe experience and a 90-minute table reservation. Early bird pricing ranges from $22-$30 for kids and $39-$49 for adults depending on the date and time. You can buy additional drinks, dessert and food.
Until 10/3 Earth Poetica, for free in the lobby of 3 World Trade Center.
9/1: Bryant Park Picnic Performances Langston in Harlem 7pm
9/ 2 – 4 and 9/9 – 10: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit is in Greenwich Village. The exhibit features a wide range of artwork from local and international artists, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and more.
9/1 – 3: Electric Zoo or EDM Festival. Held at Randall’s Island Park. The festival has become an unmissable attraction on the electronic-dance-music circuit, featuring a wide range of artists both top name and underground.
9/4: West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
9/2 – 3: The Hester Street Fair at the Seaport at Pier 17 (89 South Street). This outdoor market features handmade jewelry, candles, vintage clothing, and more.
9/ 7 – 13: New York Fashion Week
9/7: Bryant Park Picnic Performances American Symphony Orchestra with Leon Botstein.
9/8 – 10: The Armory Show annual art show that showcases contemporary and modern art.At The Jarvis Center. The exhibition features more than 270 galleries from all over the world.
9/8: Bryant Park Picnic Performances Romeo and Juliet 7pm
9/9: Bryant Park Picnic Performances Gaye Su Akyol (U.S. debut) 7pm
9/8 – 10: PHOTOFAIRS NEW YORK is all about contemporary art, mainly photo-based and digital artworks. This year, exhibitors from more than 20 cities around the world will present their art.
9/9: At 10am the Labor Day Parade. It steps off from Fifth Avenue and 44th Street.
9/11: A Tribute in Lights. This marks the 22nd anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Expect events, vigils, memorials, and tribute runs as well.
9/14: Bryant Park Picnic Performances 40th Anniversary Celebration of Harlem Stage 7pm
9/14: Celebrate Dinner in White/Le Dîner en Blanc. The exact location and date will only be announced shortly before the start.
9/14 – 17: Broadway Week. Discounted Broadway tickets means for every ticket you purchase, you get another one for FREE!
9/14: New York City’s largest festival of cuisine, culture and community is back for the third time! Uptown Night Market will take place in West Harlem.
Unique and tasty foods from around the globe are offered by numerous food vendors. This festival is a MUST for all food lovers!
9/14 – 24: The Feast of San Gennaro, held in Little Italy. Parades, live music and food, glorious food.
9/16: Annual German-American Steuben Parade Fifth Avenue to 86th Street.
9/17: Smithsonian Museum Day. Museum Day is a one-day event in which participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Participants are allowed to download one ticket per email address. The ticket provides free general admission on Saturday, September 17, 2022, for two people.
9/30: Morningside Lights awe-inspiring handmade lanterns. This year’s event, is titled “The Open Book,” with more than 50 community-built lanterns depicting great books. The route begins in Morningside Park at 116th Street and Morningside Avenue at 8pm, arriving on Columbia University campus around 8:45pm.
Artists Announced For PAC NYC Grand Opening
Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) Executive Director Khady Kamaraand Artistic Director Bill Rauch announced today additional opening events and performances to celebrate the September 19 grand opening of the new performing arts center at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
Opening this fall is “Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson,” a contemporary American restaurant at the core of this new cultural anchor of Lower Manhattan. Designed by Rockwell Group, Metropolis will offer a warm and welcoming dining and lounge experience, including a bar and outdoor terrace, throughout PAC NYC’s lobby level. The menu draws inspiration from the diversity of the five boroughs defined by generations of immigrants and honors the convergence of cultures throughout the great city of New York.
The PAC NYC opening will also include three free events for the community: Open House: Arts Community Day(Sept. 27), Open House: Neighborhood Day (Sept. 28) and Open House: Five Borough Family Day (Sept. 30).
Expanding on PAC NYC’s music program, a new series, Downtown Sessions, will present intimate concerts with Tony Award winning artists LaChanze (Oct 1), Ben Platt (Oct 7) and the previously announced Brian Stokes Mitchell (Oct. 5). Citicard members and PAC NYC members will have early access to tickets.
PAC NYC’s inaugural artistic season will begin with Refuge: A Concert Series to Welcome the World (Sept. 19-23), a five-evening, Pay-What-You-Wish event featuring a vibrant mix of acclaimed musicians from around the globe curated around the theme of refuge. Global star José Feliciano and Armo (both Sept 23) have recently joined the concert series that features artists such as Common, Laurie Anderson, Michelle Zauner, Shoshana Bean, Angélique Kidjo, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and many more.
On September 13, 2023, PAC NYC will inaugurate the building during a ribbon cutting and civic dedication ceremony with Mike Bloomberg, chair of the Perelman Performing Arts Center board of directors, PAC NYC leadership, elected officials, artists and other invited guests.
Family & Lobby Programming
Additional programming, including family performances, programming collaborations and free performances in the lobby on the Vartan and Clare Gregorian Stage, will be announced in the coming months.
Tickets & PAC NYC Individual Memberships
Starting July 25, PAC NYC members and Citi cardmembers can purchase tickets to the Downtown Sessions concerts with LaChanze and Ben Platt, through an exclusive presale. Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 28.
All performances are located at PAC NYC at 251 Fulton Street.
The public can sign up for important updates from PAC NYC at PACNYC.org/sign-up.
Citi is the official card and a proud sponsor of PAC NYC.
PAC NYC is grateful for the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies
PAC NYC is committed to providing an enjoyable and inclusive experience for all patrons and ensuring that all audiences have access to our programs and performances. PAC NYC meets or exceeds the standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA Entrance at PAC NYC is sponsored by Citi. For more information on accessibility, please visit PACNYC.org/accessibility.
PAC NYC is a dynamic new home for the arts, serving audiences and the creative sector through flexible venues enabling the facility to embrace wide-ranging artistic programs. The inaugural year will feature commissions, world premieres, co-productions, and collaborative work across theater, dance, music, opera, film and more. The vision for PAC NYC began when then Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his team worked to ensure the plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site included a performing arts center.
Named for businessman, philanthropist and benefactor Ronald O. Perelman, the Perelman Performing Arts Center is a 138-foot-tall, cube-shaped building with radically flexible capabilities designed by the architecture firm REX, led by founding principal Joshua Ramus. REX’s design, created in collaboration with executive architect Davis Brody Bond, theater consultant Charcoalblue and acoustician Threshold Acoustics, is conceived for an artistic program that will have vast and varied needs to serve New York’s extraordinarily diverse arts community. The building is wrapped in nearly 5,000 half-inch thick marble tiles which have been book matched to create a symmetrical pattern, that is identical on all four sides of the building. The marble façade allows light to radiate in during the day and glow out during the evening. David Rockwell and his architecture and design firm Rockwell Group designed the interior of the lobby and restaurant with a dynamic, glowing ceiling visible from the street to create an inviting entry experience. The lobby’s restaurant, Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson, along with the bar and outdoor terrace, offers a new gathering space for the Lower Manhattan community.
The 42nd Annual Battery Dance Festival
Best of Lists5 days ago
Things We Love in New York This Season
Out of Town5 days ago
A Tap Happy White Christmas
Book Reviews5 days ago
The Glorious Corner
Food and Drink2 days ago
Lifevine Brings a Sparkle to Your Holiday Party
Out of Town4 days ago
“The Father and the Assassin” Enlightens and Questions at the National Theatre, London
Beauty5 days ago
Girl Boss Holiday Gift Ideas
Broadway4 days ago
Can’t Wait For Boop To Come To Broadway
Broadway3 days ago
Broadway’s Harmony Sounds Great But Lacks Emotive Power