A charming classic and perfect way to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. An icon among American backstage musicals, giving us a taste of what goes on behind the scenes of a major show, 42ndStreet is set in the period just after the financial crash of 1929. A producer has put all his hopes in a new show, but the leading lady injures herself during rehearsals. The show is saved by a talented young chorus girl in the dance troupe. The plot revolves around some staggering singing and dancing anda number of breathtaking tap routines, allowing the Châtelet to give its audience a final explosion of colour and action before it closes for works.
Running time : 2h35 with intermission
The action isset in 1932 and 1933.
Financially ruined by the crash of 1929, the producer Julian Marsh is hoping to get his finances backin order with a new show called Pretty Lady, which must not fail at any cost. He has held auditions for the chorus, but the show already has a ready-madestar in the person of Dorothy Brock, somewhat over the hill. Dorothy’s beau, Abner Dillon, a slightly podgy old man, has 100,000 dollars to invest in the venture. Peggy Sawyer, a talented young girl from the provinces, but extremely enthusiastic, passes her audition. Rehearsals begin under the critical eye of Dillon, who makes sure no-one gets too close to ‘his’ Dorothy. Dorothy,in the meantime, has fallen in love with Pat Denning, one of her old stage partners. Pat is made to understand that the show can’t go on without Dillon’s money. He is therefore persuaded to leave Dorothy and so he heads for Philadelphia. But, instead of going to Atlantic City as planned, the troupe heads for the try-outs in Philadelphia, where Dorothy meets up with Pat again and breaks off her relationship with Abner Dillon. Thanks to the insistence of the whole team, Dillon nevertheless decides to produce the show. During the opening night, Peggy Sawyer accidentally bumps into Dorothy, who falls to the ground and breaks her ankle: the show is stopped. The troupe try to persuade Julian Marsh that Peggy should take over Dorothy’s role, but the young girl has already left… The entire company therefore runs to the station to try and bringher back. In Philadelphia station, Julian Marsh promises her the leading role on Broadway, but she wants to go back home to Allentown, in Pennsylvania. “What’s that you say? Allentown?”, exclaims Marsh. “I’m offering you the chance of a lifetime and all you can say is ‘Allentown’?” The troupe then waits for ananswer from Peggy, who finally agrees to Marsh’s proposal. On arriving in New York, Peggy has only thirty-six hours to learn Dorothy’s role, including her songs and dance routines. Thirty minutes before the beginning of the show, Dorothy bursts into Peggy’s dressing room to wish her good luck and announce her marriage to Pat. Peggy Sawyer, of course, becomes a star on the night of the première…