42nd Street Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

42nd Street
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This is our review of 42nd Street at Liverpool‘s Empire Theatre!

Synopsis Of 42nd Street

Set in 1933 after the Wall Street Crash, we learn how theatres couldn’t afford to put on shows. But the infamous director Julian Marsh returns to the business with a new show titled Pretty Lady. The backdrop shows iconic landmarks and old signs of New York from the time period. Young And Healthy is the opening song, and the star of Pretty Lady is Dorothy Brock. She’s quite a character who gives the orders to suit her.

There is clever lighting when we see Miss Brock auditioning to the song Shadow Waltz; the show effect is very entertaining. Unbeknownst to Julian, though, Dorothy is in love with a shady character by the name of Pat Denning. But to get funding for the show, Dorothy must pretend to have feelings for Billy Lawlor. Once the affair between Dorothy and Pat is discovered, the consequences are violent.


Amidst the backstage chaos, on-stage there remain moments to wow us all. An example is the song Go Into Your Dance, as the audience loved the impressive tap dancing here. Meanwhile, a new lady joins the cast of Pretty Lady; her name is Peggy Sawyer. She arrived late, too nervous to get involved. Meanwhile, Dorothy delivers a lovely solo rendition of I Only Have Eyes For You, with great vocals throughout.

The first half ends with We’re In The Money, as the big production is all set to go. However, in the excitement of the moment, Peggy accidentally bumps into Dorothy and breaks her ankle! Julian fires a devastated Peggy. Julian announces that the show is cancelled, but the chorus pleads with him that Peggy could take Dorothy’s place.


After a big musical number, Lullaby Of Broadway, Peggy accepts the offer to return to the show. Yet she remains nervous and pushed to her limits by Julian. However, a surprise visit from Dorothy actually boosts Peggy’s confidence. After a comedic scene amidst Shuffle Off To Buffalo, we see the long-awaited performance of Pretty Lady. And it’s an instant smash, leading to a cheery ending amidst the big finish, 42nd Street!

Analysis Of 42nd Street

This is a very professional production with plenty of striking moments. The production is of the highest level, combining eye-catching sets with unique lighting and transitional music. Elsewhere, there is a healthy mix of comedy and drama, with the latter not overwhelming to overshadow the lighthearted tone. Furthermore, we get several fantastic tapdancing routines, not to mention incredible vocals for the show’s biggest songs.

Performance-wise, Peggy is amazing throughout, with Dorothy also measuring up to high expectations. Nevertheless, all of the singers and dancers were excellent throughout, emphasising the calibre of performers required for this production.

Summary Of 42nd Street

In closing, it’s a highly professional and classy show, with spectacular costumes, great sets, awesome dancing, memorable singing, and colourful lighting. What more could you ask for? It’s a must-see for musical theatre lovers everywhere.

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding