42nd Street | Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

42nd Street The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 7 2018

Originally produced on Broadway in 1980, this musical takes its title and some of its plot and tunes from the iconic 1933 film, though according to the program Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble’s book is based on the 1932 novel the original movie was adapted from, and many of the show’s tunes (most of them written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin) come from a host of other Depression-era Warner Bros. musicals (among them Gold Diggers of 1933, 1935, and 1937). The show was the big nostalgia hit of the Reagan era, but it hasn't aged well. Stewart and Bramble’s intentionally cliche-filled book feels more shopworn than charming. And the ill-conceived orchestration's attempt to make the many wonderful old songs in the score sound more “contemporary” (to 1980 ears) only gives the show the feel of a bad cruise-ship revue. Michael Heitzman’s ensemble is solid, though—Gene Weygandt makes a wonderful, curmudgeonly director—and Emilio Sosa’s period costumes are pure eye candy. —Jack Helbig

Price: $57

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