Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
My History with 42nd Street
I have a personal relationship with 42nd Street going all the way back to the touring production I saw in Austin in the early 1980's. I had been in dance lessons before that, but didn't particularly like tap, until I saw 42nd Street. After that experience, I wanted to be one of those girls and tap in that show for the REST OF MY LIFE!
In 1986, my senior year in high school, I saw the Ted Turner colorized version of the original Busby Berkeley movie. Here's a clip:
It reminded me of how much I loved that show, so for my senior dance recital tap solo, I begged my teacher to let me do the title song and she did! I even got to pick out my own costume. Here's me doing "42nd Street" for my tap number, with a little help from my friend Oscar Lopez.
So, you can imagine how excited I was to get to see this show again.
This was the most amazing production of them all! The design was perfect. The scenery was all old school painted flats including the spiral staircase, cat walk, and the two techies in the fly rail. The costumes were dazzling. The color pallette was spring pastels. There were a ton of costume changes: rehearsal clothes, daywear plus coats, hats, and matching luggage, evening wear, the "costumes" from the show, as well as another change just for the finale. There were microphones in the dancers tights with a cord running down the back of the leg like a seam and the microphone positioned right on the ankle to pick up all the tap sounds. What a brilliant idea! The choreography was by Randy Skinner and it was a heart-stopping thrill ride all the way to the end. And just when you think they can't possibly do any more tapping, the finale/curtain call is more tapping and it just goes on forever. Also, Lulu was playing Dorothy when we saw it, so I was fan-girling out a bit. I loved her in To Sir, With Love.
Roger Kirk, Costume Designer
Roger says in the above interview that there are 650 costumes in total. Here are a few photos from the show's website: https://42ndstreetmusical.co.uk/photos/
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane is the oldest theatre in London that is still in use. There have been four theatres on this site. The earliest was built in 1663, after the Restoration of the English monarchy when Charles II re-opened the theatres, Nell Gwyn performed there before it caught fire and was demolished. The second theatre opened in 1674, lasted 120 years, and boasted the leadership of Colley Cibber, David Garrick, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. In 1791 Sheridan demolished it to build a new larger space which opened in 1794, but only lasted 15 years until it too burned in 1809. Today's building was erected in 1812 and featured Edmund Kean as its star performer. Since WW II it produces mostly musicals. The original West End production of 42nd Street played here in 1984 and ran till 1989. Andrew Lloyd Webber has owned the theatre since 2000, along with nine other theatres in the West End. In 2013, he spent $4 million on restoring the public areas of the theatre to their original Regency style.
Sorry about the quality of my photos. The lights were making it really hard for my phone to focus. The fire curtain reads, "FOR THINE ESPECIAL SAFETY".
I wish I'd worn dressy clothes just for this picture. I made a choice to pack only warm comfy clothes since I knew it would be really cold at night and that we'd be walking everywhere. Therefore I looked like a hobo in all the photos. Ce la vie.
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