Stratford's 42nd Street, With Cynthia Dale, Sean Arbuckle, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Opens May 29; Gary Griffin Directs

By Kenneth Jones
29 May 2012

Cynthia Dale and Kyle Blair
Cynthia Dale and Kyle Blair
Photo by David Hou

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's new production of the showbiz fable 42nd Street opens May 29 following previews from April 12 in Ontario. Chicago and Broadway director Gary Griffin (The Color Purple) stages the show tune-packed musical at the Festival Theatre. The performance is part of the opening week of the 2012 season.

Festival favorite Cynthia Dale plays fading star Dorothy Brock, American actor Sean Arbuckle is tough director Julian Marsh, Kyle Blair is juvenile lead Billy Lawlor and Jennifer Rider-Shaw plays Peggy Sawyer, the tap-happy newcomer.

Inspired by the Warner Bros. movie and the novel before it, 42nd Street has music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin and book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble. It won the Tony Award as Best Musical in 1981.

A 16-piece on-stage orchestra sweetens the experience in the signature thrust mainstage at Stratford. It's the first time at Stratford that a musical's orchestra has been positioned on stage in full view of the audience.



The score includes "We're in the Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and other classics pulled from Depression-era Warner Bros. movie musicals. Read more about the show's original Broadway production in the Playbill Vault

Stratford performances play in rep with other works to Oct. 28.

The cast also includes Naomi Costain as Anytime Annie, Kyle Golemba as Andy Lee, C. David Johnson as Pat Denning, Gabrielle Jones as Maggie Jones and Geoffrey Tyler as Bert Barry.

Alex Sanchez (Fosse) choreographs; Michael Barber is musical director. The creative team also includes Debra Hanson (set and costume design), Paul Miller (lighting design), Peter McBoyle (sound design), Kerry Gage (associate choreographer), Franklin Brasz (associate conductor) and Simon Fon (stunt coordinator).

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival's 2012 season includes Much Ado About Nothing; 42nd Street, The Matchmaker; Henry V; You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Pirates of Penzance; A Word or Two; Cymbeline; Wanderlust; Elektra; MacHomer; The Best Brothers; Hirsch and The War of 1812.

Visit stratfordfestival.ca.