Read our four-star review of 42nd Street, starring Ruthie Henshall and Nicole-Lily Baisden, now in performances at Sadler's Wells through 2 July.
42nd Street Tickets
42nd Street Information
“Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway!” Don’t miss the new production of 42nd Street starring Ruthie Henshall and Adam Garcia. 42nd Street tickets are available on London Theatre now.
42nd Street is a musical comedy about the joys — and dramas — of bringing a Broadway show to life. Told through the eyes of fresh-faced chorus girl Peggy Sawyer, just off the bus from small-town Allentown, U.S.A., the musical depicts the thrilling backstage world of showbiz, complete with scandal, intrigue, heartbreak, and, despite it all, unrelenting hope. When the show’s leading lady breaks her leg, Peggy is given the chance of a lifetime and she must decide whether her dream of Broadway stardom is worth the cost.
This Depression-era musical is brimming with optimism and heart. As theatre producer Maggie Jones advises Peggy, “If you’ve been singing a sad and blue song, go into your dance.” 42nd Street is known for its phenomenal tap dancing; the new Sadler’s Wells version, choreographed by Olivier award-winner Bill Deamer, is sure to offer spectacular showstoppers. This is the ultimate backstage musical for theatre lovers.
When 42nd Street premiered at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, a young Catherine Zeta-Jones was a member of the original chorus. At the time, she was only eighteen – a virtual unknown. At one performance, the actress playing Peggy Sawyer and her main understudy were unable to perform. Zeta-Jones filled in as starry-eyed Peggy and soon became a star herself!
When the stage version premiered on Broadway, it was a smash hit and went on to win that season’s Tony Award for Best Musical. Several years later, the show debuted in London’s West End where it also received the Olivier Award for Musical of the Year. A revised version was presented on Broadway in 2001, and this updated 42nd Street in London played in the West End from 2017-2019. Now, we can enjoy the 2023 Sadler’s Wells revival, complete with sparkling costumes and toe-tapping choreography.
Who wrote 42nd Street?
42nd Street has music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, and a libretto by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble. In some ways, the creation of this show was an early example of a jukebox musical; all of the songs were written several decades earlier.
The musical is based on a 1933 film by Rian James and James Seymour. Many of the popular Harry Warren songs from the show were also in the film, such as “Shuffle off to Buffalo,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me,” and the title number “42nd Street.”
Other tunes, including the memorable “Lullaby of Broadway” were also written by Warren, but for other 1930s movies. (Songwriter Johnny Mercer is credited with contributing additional lyrics to the musical; his work with Harry Warren does not appear in the 42nd Street film. That score was composed solely by Harry Warren and Al Dubin.)
Tickets to 42nd Street are available now. Book your 42nd Street tickets on London Theatre today.
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Captioned Performance: Saturday 17 June at 2:30pm
Audio Described + Touch Tour Performance: Saturday 24 June at 2:30pm
BSL interpreted Performance: Saturday 1 July at 7:30pm
Cast and creative
By: Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Music: Harry Warren and Al Dubin
Director: Jonathan Church
Cast list: Ruthie Henshall, Adam Garcia, Les Dennis, Nicole-Lily Baisden, Sam Lips, Erica-Jayne Alden, George Beet, Charlie Bishop, Briana Craig, Ashleigh Graham, Alyn Hawke, Aimee Hodnett, Connor Hughes, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, Ben Middleton, Benjamin Mundy, Anthony Ofoegbu and Jessica Wright
Choreographer: Bill Deamer
Design: Rob Jones
Lighting: Ben Cracknell
Sound: Ian Dickinson and Gareth Tucker
Latest 42nd Street News & Features
Learn more about the classic songs in the Golden Age musical, including "Dames," "We're in the Money," and "Lullaby of Broadway." 42nd Street opens at Sadler's Wells.
The acclaimed actors will play Dorothy Brock and Julian Marsh in the musical revival, playing a four-week summer season at Sadler’s Wells as part of a national tour.