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Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
United States
Indiana
Indianapolis, IN
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Beef & Boards’ 42nd Street: Where Dancing and Life are At-One

by Rita Kohn
April 9, 2019
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317-872-9664
Rita Kohn, member: Dance Critics Association, Authors Guild, Dramatists Guild
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is taking audiences to that famous avenue as it presents the ultimate show-biz musical: 42nd Street, now through May 19. A celebration of Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre, 42nd Street also won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?

The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We’re In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “42nd Street.”

Kaylee Verble makes her Beef & Boards debut as the starry-eyed young dancer Peggy Sawyer with big dreams. Mark Epperson, seen in Elf, The Musical and Mamma Mia! at Beef & Boards, plays Broadway producer Julian Marsh, while Dan Bob Higgins, who most recently starred as Buddy the Elf in "Elf, The Musical" at Beef & Boards plays Billy, the romantic lead of the Broadway show. Also returning to the Beef & Boards stage are Sarah Hund as Dorthy Brock, the diva, and Lanene Charters as Maggie Jones and Brett Mutter as Bert Barry, the show’s writers.

Beef & Boards’ production of "42nd Street" is directed by Eddie Curry and choreographed by Ron Morgan, with musical direction by Kristy Templet.

PREVIEW WEEKEND REVIEW

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre zestfully channels Gower Champion’s remarkable choreography in their dazzling “42nd Street” production, running through May 19. It might not be forty feet tapping up a storm at curtain rise, yet on the minuscule B&B stage half that amount is fully impressive. Choreographer Ron Morgan maintains the full-out pace throughout every dance sequence which, in this show, provides the cohesive through-line for the magic, mayhem and mythology of attaining stardom. What I’m anticipating will happen with the preview weekend settling into the full run, is the same kind of breadth and depth in dialogue as in the dancing. Eddie Curry’s direction has not yet fully plumbed the coherence between the theatrical and dance elements that was so integral to the success of the stage musical when it opened in 1980.

While building upon a ready made book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, Gower Champion equally was fanning the hotspots from the sizzle of “A Chorus Line” that made personal-life-passion public in razzle-dazzle showmanship undergirded by full-scope humanity. Champion did that by generating the believability through a cohesive director-choreographer position. The strength of “42nd Street” as a live stage musical based on a film based on a novel is its real-time unfolding. Peggy Sawyer is a true-to-life small-town EveryWoman big-time aspirant. As audience members identifying with an ordinary person placed in an extraordinary circumstance and attaining through sheer grit alongside ability, we see ourselves in that moment of, ‘Yes, I can’ …if and when we are given that chance. The premise of “42nd Street” is a bank account, not for hard times but for opportunity. That’s the lift I want to feel in this B&B production. I’ll need to go back to know that this integrated zest surfaces. The dancing is part of the dialogue, words need to underscore the rhythm of each dance sequence.

Credit the entire cast for remarkable dancing that exudes full dimension story-telling, and the entire crew for the glitzy setting, spot on lighting, eye-popping costumes, and a 5-person orchestra for full-out playing, including: Kristy Templet, conductor/keyboards; Terry Woods, keyboard; Dorothy McDonald, woodwinds; Cameron Bailey, percussion, Rick Hajduk, trumpet.

Kaylee Verble enlivens Peggy Sawyer in her B&B debut. Mark Epperson returns for another B&B nuanced performance as Julian Marsh, as do Dan Bob Higgins as Billy Lawlor and Sarah Hund as Dorothy Brock. Peter Scharbrough is a stand-out Andy Lee. Lanene Charters commands the stage as Maggie Jones. Equally adding their all to the production are: David Buergler, Christopher Gallacher, Jen Martin, Scott Martin, Samuel McKanney, Brett Mutter, Amy Owens, Sally Scharbough, Jeff Stockberger, AnnaLee Traeger, and Christine Zavakos.

"42nd Street" is on stage for 45 performances through May 19. Tickets range from $45 to $70, and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, unlimited coffee, tea and lemonade.

For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.

"42nd Street" is sponsored in part by the National Bank of Indianapolis.

Next up:

Disney's "The Little Mermaid" opens May 23.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, 9301 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268
The cast performs the title number in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

The cast performs the title number in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Peggy Sawyer (Kayle Verble) makes her debut in “Pretty Girl” in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Peggy Sawyer (Kayle Verble) makes her debut in “Pretty Girl” in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Peggy Sawyer (Kayle Verble), center, is surrounded by her cast mates, the director, and writers of “Pretty Lady,” as they try to persuade her to come back and star in the show in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Peggy Sawyer (Kayle Verble), center, is surrounded by her cast mates, the director, and writers of “Pretty Lady,” as they try to persuade her to come back and star in the show in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Kaylee Verble stars as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Kaylee Verble stars as Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Billy Lawlor (Dan Bob Higgins), center, leads a show stopping performance of “We’re in the Money” in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Billy Lawlor (Dan Bob Higgins), center, leads a show stopping performance of “We’re in the Money” in 42nd Street at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. The Tony Award-winning musical is now on stage through May 19.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig

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