42nd Street, une comédie musicale écrite en 1980, est une célébration des claquettes des comédies musicales des années 1920 et 1930

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités


"42nd Street" est l'histoire d'une jeune actrice humble et naïve prénommée Peggy Sawyer qui est venue pour auditionner pour une nouvelle comédie musicale de Broadway. Malheureusement, à cause de sa nervosité, Peggy arrive en retard à l'audition et manque sa chance de joindre le chœur.
Heureusement, Peggy a été remarquée par le célèbre metteur en scène, Marais Julien, et il donne à Peggy sa chance. Cependant, l'actrice principale vieillissante, Dorothy Brock, déteste rapidement Peggy. Le soir de l'opening night, Mlle. Brock tombe et se casse la cheville. La panique prend toute la compagnie, car le spectacle est vraisemblablement condamné à la fermeture, jusqu'à ce que l'on suggère que Peggy reprenne le rôle. En seulement trente-six heures, Peggy apprend vingt-cinq pages, six chansons et dix numéros de danse et devient une star.

Synopsis complet

Quelques commentaires

42nd Street est un "backstage musical", c’est-à-dire une comédie musicale dont l’action se situe dans le milieu du théâtre, et plus spécifiquement dans le milieu des théâtres de Broadway : une recette classique, simple et efficace, très souvent utilisée de tout temps dans les musicals américains.

Le livret, assez simple et dénué d’intérêt, est un prétexte pour s’immerger dans le monde des claquettes, et produire de magnifiques numéros musicaux, aussi bien sur le plan des chansons, que de la danse. L’un des plus connus est sans doute l’ouverture du musical, qui consiste habituellement en un lever partiel du rideau qui ne monte que d’une cinquantaine de centimètres, dévoilant uniquement les pieds des danseurs en claquettes.


1 42nd Street peut-être considéré comme un Top musical

2 42nd Street peut-être considéré comme un backstage musical.


Historique du musical


Basé sur le roman de Bradford Ropes et son adaptation en film en 1933

Génèse du musical

Producer David Merrick "took a huge gamble with his $3 million production based on the 1933 Warner Brothers film musical", as "only one other show had made the transfer from original movie musical to the stage -- 'Gigi,' a flop in 1974."[1][2] He felt audiences once again were ready to embrace the nostalgia craze started by the successful revivals of No, No, Nanette, Irene, and his own Very Good Eddie several years earlier, and augmented the familiar songs from the film's soundtrack with a liberal dose of popular tunes from the Dubin-Warren catalogue. According to theatre historian John Kenrick, "When the curtain slowly rose to reveal forty pairs of tap-dancing feet, the star-studded opening night audience at the Winter Garden cheered…Champion (who had no tap training) followed this number with a series of tap-infused extravaganzas larger and more polished than anything Broadway really had in the 1930s."

Original Broadway)
In June 1980, the musical premiered in out-of-town tryouts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. After six previews, the Broadway production opened on August 25, 1980 at the Winter Garden Theatre, eventually moving to the Majestic and then the St. James, closing after 3,486 performances. (Frank Rich called this a sign of the "shift of power" on Broadway, as the show had to leave the Winter Garden to make way for Cats and the Majestic to accommodate The Phantom of the Opera.) The original cast included Jerry Orbach as Julian Marsh, Tammy Grimes as Dorothy Brock, Wanda Richert as Peggy Sawyer, and Lee Roy Reams as Billy Lawlor. Replacements later in the run included Barry Nelson and Don Chastain as Julian, Elizabeth Allen, Dolores Gray, and Millicent Martin as Dorothy, and Lisa Brown and Karen Ziemba as Peggy. The show's designers, Robin Wagner (sets), Theoni V. Aldredge (costumes), and Tharon Musser (lights) were the same team who had designed the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line. The musical is the 12th longest runnning show in Broadway history, as of December 2010. This Tony Nominated wardrobe, designed by Theoni V. Aldredge, is on display at the Costume World Broadway Collection in Pompano Beach, Florida.
However, the opening night triumph was overshadowed by tragedy. Following a 5 minute standing ovation, Merrick went onstage and stated, "It is tragic…Gower Champion has died." He went on to explain that Champion had died of cancer just hours before the performance, "when he said that Mr. Champion had died, there were gasps and screams." The producer had advised only Bramble of Champion's death and managed to keep the news a secret from the cast (including Richert, the director's girlfriend), crew, and the public prior to his announcement.
42nd Street proved to be not only Champion's last show but Merrick's final success. Merrick lived until 2000, but, as described by Anthony Bianco, 42nd Street "was his last big hit, his swan song."

West End - 1984
The West End production opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on August 8, 1984. The career of teenaged Catherine Zeta-Jones, a chorus member in the 1984 West End production, was launched when a vacation and an illness felled both the actress portraying Peggy Sawyer and her understudy on a night one of the producers happened to be in the audience. Zeta-Jones filled in and was impressive enough to be cast permanently in the role shortly afterward.

Broadway revival - 2001
Bramble revised the book for and directed the Broadway revival, with choreography by Randy Skinner (dance assistant for the original production). It opened, after 31 previews, on May 2, 2001 at the Foxwoods Theatre (formerly the Ford Center for the Performing Arts), where it ran for 1,524 performances. The cast included Michael Cumpsty as Julian, Christine Ebersole as Dorothy, Kate Levering as Peggy, and David Elder as Billy. Meredith Patterson, who made her Broadway musical debut in the chorus and was the understudy for the role of Peggy Sawyer, took over the role in August 2001. Todd Lattimore, who was a swing and understudy took over the role of Billy. Other notable replacements included Patrick Cassidy and Tom Wopat as Julian and Shirley Jones and Beth Leavel as Dorothy.

UK Tour - 2007
The Broadway revival production, by UK Productions, toured the UK in 2007. The cast included Paul Nicholas as Julian for the first part of the tour, later replaced by Dave Willetts, Julia J Nagle as Dorothy, Jessica Punch as Peggy and Ashley Nottingham as Billy.



Liste des chansons

Acte I
“Overture” – Orchestra
“Audition” – Dancers
“Young and Healthy” – Billy and Peggy
“Shadow Waltz” – Maggie, Dorothy, and Girls
“Shadow Waltz (Reprise)” – Dorothy
“Go into Your Dance” – Maggie, Peggy, Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, and Andy
“You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me” – Dorothy
“Getting Out of Town” – Maggie, Bert, Pat, and Chorus
“Dames” – Billy and Chorus
"Keep Young and Beautiful/Dames Reprise" - Bert, Maggie and Ensemble
"I Only Have Eyes for You" - Dorothy and Billy
“I Know Now”* – Dorothy, Chorus and Billy
“We’re in the Money” – Annie, Phyllis, Lorraine, Peggy, Billy, and Chorus
“Act One Finale” – Dorothy and Orchestra

Acte II
“Entr’acte” – Orchestra
“There’s a Sunny Side to Every Situation” – Annie and Chorus
“Lullaby of Broadway” – Julian and Company
“About a Quarter to Nine” – Dorothy and Peggy
"With Plenty of Money and You" - Men Ensemble
“Shuffle Off to Buffalo” – Maggie, Bert, Annie, and Girls
“Forty-Second Street” – Peggy with Dancing Company
“Forty-Second Street (Reprise)” – Julian
“Finale Ultimo” – Full Company and Orchestra

Liste des rôles

Andy Lee
Maggie Jones
Bert Barry
Billy Lawlor
Peggy Sawyer
Julian Marsh
Dorothy Brock
Abner Dillon
Pat Denning

Textes disponibles on-line

Aucun livret ou texte de chanson disponibles pour le moment

Pour en savoir plus

Aucun dossier informatif complémentaire concernant 42nd Street.

Quelques remarques

The production was in world headlines the day after opening when David Merrick announced after the opening night curtain call that director Gower Champion had died earilier that day. Arguably, this event contributed to the show’s success.
Instead of calling it a "book" early playbills refer to the book as "Lead Ins and Crossovers."


Versions du musical

Versions majeures de 42nd Street

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de 42nd Street


Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

 Pas encore de video disponible pour ce spectacle


Principaux CD du musical

1) 1980-08-Original Broadway Cast

2) 1989-??-Original Australian Cast

3) 1990-??-Studio Cast

4) 1996-??-Studio Cast

5) 2000-09-Dutch Cast

6) 2001-??-Broadway Revival Cast

Liste détaillée des principaux CD


Captations du musical