Stephens Auditorium welcomes 42nd Street

42nd Street

2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 4, Stephens Auditorium

The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic, 42nd Street is the song and dance fable of Broadway with an American Dream story and includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as “We’re in The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and, of course, “42nd Street.”

Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, 42nd Street tells the story of a starry-eyed your young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her Allentown, Pa., home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady.

When the leading lady lady breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star. With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this sparkling new production will be directed by co-author Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, the team who staged the 2001 Tony Award®-winning Best Musical Revival.

Brush up on your trivia with these historical facts about 42nd Street:

  • The original Broadway production of 42nd Street opened on Aug. 25, 1980, and played for 3,486 performances (8+ years) on Broadway at the Winter Garden, Majestic and St. James theatres. It was revived on Broadway in 2001 and played for 1,524 performances at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. It is the 14th longest running show in Broadway history.
  • Legendary director and choreographer Gower Champion passed away on the day of the original Broadway opening. His passing was announced by David Merrick at the end of the opening night performance and became front page news around the world.
  • The original Broadway production won two 1981 Tony Awards® for Best Musical and Best Choreography and two 1981 Drama Desk Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
  • The 2001 revival won two Tony Awards® for Best Musical Revival and Best Leading actress and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival.
  • The cast of the 2001 revival of 42nd Street performed the now-famous opening number to for the 55th Annual Tony Awards®. The first section was taped after a performance and included an extensive tap sequence through the NYC subway, which was filmed until 3 a.m. The second section of the number was performed live at Radio City Music Hall.
  • Director/Co-Author Mark Bramble has staged productions of the show all over the world, including in London, Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Vienna.
  • Only four songs in the show were originally written for the 1933 Busby Berkeley movie.