42nd Street

Civic Theatre, cnr of Queen Street & Wellesley Street West, Auckland

02/10/2010 - 16/10/2010

Production Details

The high-kicking, high-energy theatrical extravaganza that changed the face of Broadway musicals, will turn Auckland’s Civic, THE EDGE, into a dance hall of the grandest scale from October 2. Tickets will go on sale on July 7 and are priced for all the family to enjoy. 

42nd Streetis a big, bold musical set in 1933 that celebrates the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s a story of hard work, being in the right place at the right time, talent and love. It’s a celebration of Broadway and the people involved in shows. 

Featuring dazzling costumes and set from the latest Broadway Revival, 42nd Streetwill bring the memories flooding back with hit show tunes including You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me, Dames, Only Have Eyes for You, Lullaby of Broadwayhuffl e Off to Buffalo, Forty-Second Street and We’re In the Money – lucky for many Kiwis as Lotto’s original jingle! 

New Zealand-born star of international stage and television Derek Metzger plays famed dictatorial director Julian Marsh as he attempts to mount a successful stage production of “Pretty Lady” – a musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression. 

42nd Street– proudly presented by Auckland Music Theatre, the company that recently bought us the critically acclaimed season of RENT – will feature some of New Zealand’s finest talents.

“You’re going out there a youngster,

but you’ve got to come back a star!”

42nd Street
was the first of three landmark musical fi lms released in 1933 by Warner Bros to revitalise the musical film genre. In contrast to the fantasy, escapist romantic dance musicals of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that also began in the same year (Flying Down to Rio (1933)), this fi lm was an unglamorised look at the tough realities of backstage life behind the footlights.

The urban milieu of the film is filled with crisp, slangy, bitter dialogue and wisecracks, street-wise characters, topical references, desperately-striving chorines, dancers, and crew, and down-and-out references to the Depression. 

Dubbed “backstage musical par excellence, the grand-daddy of them all”, the stage version of 42nd Streetdebuted on Broadway in 1980 and ran for eight years, becoming the second longest running American musical in Broadway history behind A Chorus Line. 42nd Streetbecame the capstone of Broadway’s golden age. 


Using the all-new Randy Skinner choreography, as seen in the Tony Award-winning 2001 Broadway revival, audiences will be treated to spectacular dance routines, starting with forty pairs of feet tap-dancing away as the curtain slowly rose for the fi rst act as they did at that time.

Veteran New Zealand artist Suzanne Lee has been signed to play love-cheat, prima donna Dorothy Brock whose clumsiness opens the door for nervous-but-enthusiastic new chorus girl from out of town, Peggy Sawyer, to be played by Laura O’Sullivan who most recently won praise for her performance in RENT. Suzanne is fresh from playing understudy to Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in Australia and has an extensive entertainment career in New Zealand that includes Chicago, 12 Bar Rhythm & Shoes as well as impersonating Helen Clark.

The charming leading tenor, Billy Lawlor, will be played by Melbourne based young heart-throb Lyndon Keenan, who recently played the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Christchurch. 

Bert Barry and Maggie Jones – the producers and writers of “Pretty Lady” – will be played by Grant Bridger and Lynn Webster. Grant is a performer of some 25 years experience in New Zealand, and has toured extensively overseas, including Japan in Phantom of the Opera, and Australia and New Zealand in the critically-acclaimed version of Jesus Christ Superstar; while Lynn has toured extensively in theatre in America and Canada. 

“42nd Street is a nonstop parade of splashy production numbers”– Houston Chronicle 

Director Grant Meese, of Amici Productions, says 42nd Street is one of his all time favourite musicals. “It’s an uplifting musical and one that makes you want to get up and dance. The storyline is also one many people can relate to… a missed opportunity, unrequited love and fi nally good fortune.” 

“We are extremely proud to be able to present this musical masterpiece in New Zealand.” Live on stage at
The Civic, The EDGE
from 2 – 23 October 2010
7.30pm (no show Mondays
Matinees: Sunday 3 & 10 Oct: 4pm
                 Saturday 9 & 16: 2pm

Child (up to 15 yrs)
Group 10+

0800 BUY TICKETS or (09) 357 3355
$35.00 – $82.50 (+ booking fee)
Special group booking offer available for 10 or more

JULIAN MARSH:  Derek Metzger
MAGGIE JONES:  Lynn Webster
BERT BARRY:  Grant Bridger
PEGGY SAWYER:  Laura O’Sullivan
BILLY LAWLOR:  Lyndon Keenan
ABNER DILLON:  Craig Rodgers
ANDY LEE:  Clayton Curnow
MAC:  Vaughan Meneses
OSCAR:  Edwin Randall
Shanelle Borlase, Camille Boyte, Hannah Burridge, Melinda Christensen, Alexa Downey, Siobhan Dixon, Matthew Hadley, Kelly Iliohan, Kieran Jacobson, Amber McAlpine, Lisa McNeill, Travis McWalter, Travis MacLennan, Moya Mathias, Hamish Mouat, Laura Patterson, Marissa Prescott, Marc Pritchard, TeAwatea Rangiuaia, Clay Roberts, Cathy Rood, Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge, Ellen-Moana Smith, Zoe Stewart, Nicholas Tredrea, Jason Yang-Westland

Douglas W Schmidt - scenic designer 
Roger Kirk - costumes designer 
Paul O’Brien - lighting designer
Oceania Audio – sound design
Auckland Music Theatre Inc and Amici productions Ltd
by arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. 

Visual fireworks, razzle-dazzle and dancing

Review by Janet McAllister 05th Oct 2010

It’s so lovely for once to see a musical that is all about the spectacle: the razzle-dazzle, the sequins and, above all, the dancing.

Other big traditional Broadway shows – like Chicago, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls – have complete plot lines and character development and singing harmonies. But 42nd Street doesn’t waste time on optional extras like that.

From the time the curtain rises it’s a moving visual feast. Some of the moves are simple, but multiply them by 30-plus weaving "hoofers" who fill the stage and the effect is spectacular. [More
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The classy ole dame has more style than substance

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 03rd Oct 2010

There’s nothing like the sound of 40 pairs of tap-shoes to put you in an upbeat mood. The dazzling opening ensemble number in Auckland Music Theatre Inc. / Amici Production Ltd’s third musical to be staged in Auckland Civic Theatre shows why 42nd Street is so popular.

With plenty of pizzazz, and based on a fairy-tale story with a happy ending, 42nd Street captures the customary extravaganza of Broadway’s golden age.

42nd Street was first released as a musical film in 1933, and captured the backstage grit, desperation and hard work required behind the limelight to launch a musical (Pretty Lady) during the depression. In 1980 the stage version, which has the same ‘show within a show’ format, debuted on Broadway and in 2001, Randy Skinner choreographed a Broadway revival.

This production features Skinner’s choreography (recreated and adapted for NZ by Kelli Barclay), as well as the revival production’s costume and set design (hired from UK Productions Ltd, original Scenic design Douglas W Schmidt and Original Costume design Roger Kirk).

Visually, this production is at its zenith during the lavishly costumed, high-energy numbers, which accentuate Skinner’s sense of spectacle. (My personal highlight is watching the ensemble ‘flap’ in the opening scene – wow!) 

Director Grant has assembled a fine cast. Derek Metzger owns Lullaby Of Broadway and it is a pleasure to see him play the role of hard-nosed director Julian Marsh with such effortless ease.

Multi talented Lyndon Keenan is the perfect lead tenor and milks every opportunity to capture the limelight and sing from centre stage as the dashing young Billy Lawlor.

Grant Bridger and Lynn Webster have a natural on stage rapport and bring vitality and pace to the night whenever they appear as the driven writers of Pretty Lady, Bert Barry and Maggie Jones. Their duet, Keep Young & Beautiful, is particularly entertaining.

Suzanne Lee is a wonderful comic actress, delivering a fine performance as prima donna Dorothy Brock. She also brings a lovely touch of humanity and heart to her duet with young Peggy, About A Quarter to Nine

As the fresh-faced chorus girl from out of town, who is offered the opportunity of a lifetime to step into the lead role in Pretty Lady, Laura O’Sullivan is suitably bright-eyed and overly enthusiastic. She has a fine singing voice, holding her own in all numbers such as Young and Healthy and the signature song, 42nd Street.

In the smaller roles, Craig Rodgers is deliciously humorous as sugar-daddy Abner Dillon; tap-dog Clayton Curnow shines in the role of dance director Andy Lee during the opening ensemble number, Audition; and the perky trio of chorus girls who befriend Peggy – Anytime Annie (Sarah Kent), Lorraine (Amber McAlphine) and Phyllis (Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge) – are wonderful to watch. Their slick and smooth group dynamic is very apparent during Go Into Your Dance

Musical Director Penny Dodd’s interpretation of Harry Warren’s score, so rich and varied in style and texture, is flawless. The 16-piece live orchestra is a treat for the ears, from the note-perfect Overture, to smooth jazz passages, to the majestic brass and reed instrument phrases, through to the toe-tapping Finale.

While the true effort required to produce any musical in any climate is palpable, 42nd Street does not set out to dwell realistically on the grit, personal sacrifices, compromise and stoic commitment required by all – it is unashamedly style over substance at the end of the day. It’s all about Broadway dreams come true and Showtime baby – and thanks to AMT Inc and Amici Productions, many a keen young local dancer and singer has been given the opportunity to be part of the magic, alongside some of our finest musical theatre professionals.

42nd Street – she’s a classy ole dame all right. 


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