“Memories of Show Come Flooding Back”
It is the Derngate theatre’s 21st birthday and the Northampton Amateur Operatic Company are currently performing their 21st show there. Their performance of 42nd Street opened Tuesday, October 26, to a packed auditorium and is at the Derngate until Saturday, October 30.
I went to see 42nd Street when I was younger and could vaguely remember some catchy songs and lots of dancing. The Northampton Amateur Operatic Company certainly delivered this and brought back some of my memories of the show.
Everyone had clearly been working hard to perfect their choreography and the songs were as catchy as ever. The music was definitely one of the strongest features. The quality of the singing combined with the fantastic orchestra allowed the cast to deliver excellent renditions of “Lullaby of Broadway”, “About a Quarter to Nine” and “Shuffle off to Buffalo”.
The many costumes helped to create the feel of the 1930s, and there were many wonderful designs, especially the sparkly outfits which embraced the glitz of Broadway. The use of space was also well thought out and allowed different locations to be created on stage.
The actor playing the impresario Julian Marsh really embraced his role and excelled in it, in both acting and singing. The audience seemed to agree if the great applause that he got at the end is anything to go by. The actress playing Peggy Sawyer captured the innocence of the character and her ambition to appear on stage. Her interaction with the character Dorothy Brock was successful and their final scene together effectively showed an older star passing on her wisdom to the young beginner.
One thing I noticed about The Northampton Amateur Operatic Company was how much the cast were enjoying it, which made a real difference when watching as you wanted to enjoy it with them. The whole company should be really proud of what they have achieved, and this show will be as successful as their many previous performances.
I have to admit that I went home humming “Lullaby of Broadway”, and wondering if my old tap shoes would still fit.