Lights, curtain, tap dance – Royal City Musical Theatre (RCMT) presents
at the Massey Theatre – one of the classic backstage musicals debuted in the first half of the 20th century. Elana Chan previewed the performance on April 13, 2007.
Tapping into the Golden Age of Grand Musicals
42nd Street presented by Royal City Musical Theatre
Review by Elana Chan
42nd Street belongs to a genre called “backstage musical”, where the main story follows the production of a performance – in other words, a show within a show. This allows the incorporation of elaborate musical numbers in the story, without the awkward and outrageous scenes where “street people suddenly break into a dance”. RCMT’s production of 42nd Street retains the same nostalgic fantasy feel, showcasing singing and dancing stars with a backdrop of beautiful chorus girls.
Due of the seemingly spontaneous structure of backstage musicals, it is hard for the audience to predict knows which musical number comes next, except to expect a colourful, dollhouse-like set when the curtain lifts. Playing the lead role Dorothy Broke is actor Karin Konoval. In addition to her sincere portrayal of lonely but outwardly arrogant musical star, Konoval’s comedic timing is notable, effortlessly blending elaborate choreography with humor.
A musical show with such rich history and grandeur demands collaboration as well as individual talents to create seamless transitions from one scene to the next. RCMT features some of the best young talents in town. Some performers in the ensemble, while only in their early teens, already have a rich repertoire of training and stage experience. If one were to isolate an aspect of the show for improvement, it would be the male-only ensemble for the number Dame. Partly because of the smaller size compared the full ensemble, it is easier to spot shortcomings when it comes to uniformity. Nevertheless, judging by the high level of energy throughout the performance, each cast and crew, along with the live orchestra, put their best foot forward to create an entertaining performance for their audience of all ages.
42nd Street is performed at New Westminster’s Massey Theatre until April 28, 2007. It is a treat to watch such a spectacular cast in one of the most vibrant backstage musicals of all time right here in the Lower Mainland. Visit www.royalcitymusicaltheatre.com for more information. Don’t miss this rare experience!