Dance to the Lullaby of Broadway!

“Think of musical comedy, the most glorious words in the English language!”

Julian Marsh

The Company. (Photo: Johan Persson)

Unlike many of the musicals from the 30s and 40s 42nd Street started as a movie in 1933 and was only made into a stage show in 1980.  It could be described as an early jukebox musical.  Many of the songs will be familiar to you from the Depression Era 1930s.  Jonathan Church’s production follows his very successful Singing in the Rain and 42nd Street has even more scintillating dance numbers.     

42nd Street’s storyline is not what will draw you in, although it is a pleasant enough romance and launch to fame but what you will come for, is Bill Deamer’s fabulous dancing routines, many of them using tap.  Ruthie Henshall plays the star Dorothy Brock, who has been at the top of her game for a while and is now fading.  She can sing but her dance skills are limited.  

The Company (Photo: Johan Persson)

The show they are auditioning for is Pretty Lady.  Dorothy is cast because her aged admirer and car salesman, Abner Dillon (Anthony Ofoegbu) has persuaded Julian Marsh (Adam Garcia) to choose her.  Marsh has done so in order to get financial backing from Dillon, who has money in the show and insists on Dorothy being the star. 

Meanwhile, arriving in New York from Allentown, Pennsylvania is talented, young hopeful, wide-eyed Peggy Sawyer (Nicole-Lily Baisden).  Young lead Billy Lawlor (Sam Lips) meets her and although she has missed the audition, persuades her to come to the theatre.  Three of the other female dancers ask her to lunch, get her to dance, which is witnessed by Julian Marsh who decides that there is room for another dancer in the chorus line.  

Adam Garcia as Julian Marsh and Nicole Lily Baisden as Peggy Sawyer. (Photo: Johan Persson)

There is comedy from the two Broadway producers, Josefina Gabrielle as Maggie Jones and Les Dennis as Bert Barry.  Dorothy has a long standing beau Pat Denning (Michael Praed) whom she has to keep secret from Abner Dillon.  When Dorothy breaks her ankle, a new star has to be found and you might be able to guess who it is who agrees to learn the part in a few days.  

The design for 42nd Street is state of the art with beautiful 1930s black and white stylised fonts and Art Deco sets.  Dorothy sings in a spectacular triangular cone of red light for “I Only Have Eyes For You” . The number, “Keep Young and Beautiful”  has showgirls in sumptuous costumes and head dresses in a long chorus line.  

The Company (Photo: Johan Persson)

This touring production of 42nd Street has such strong production values, you will be impressed.  Show stopping songs like “I Only Have Eyes for You” are belted out by Henshall and Adam Garcia makes the most of the iconic “Lullaby of Broadway” and the celebratory “We’re in the Money” from the chorus girls and Peggy.  The band is strong under Jennifer Whyte with plenty of brass.  Nicole-Lily Baisden was impressive in Anything Goes and here she is charming and up to star rating as Peggy, deserving her success.  

The show is only at Sadler’s Wells until 2nd July so book it now!  

Nicole Lily Baisden as Peggy and Sam Lipa

Musical Numbers

Act One



Young and Healthy 

Shadow Waltz 

Go Into Your Dance

You’re Getting to Be

a Habit With Me

Getting Out Of Town


Keeping Young and Beautiful

Dames (continued)

I Only Have Eyes For You

I Only Have Eyes For You 


We’re In the Money


Act Two


Sunny Side of Every Situation

Lullaby of Broadway

Getting Out Of Town(Reprise)


About a Quarter to Nine

Overture to Pretty Lady Opening

With Plenty of Money and You

Shuffle Off to Buffalo

42nd Street 

42nd Street


Production Notes

42nd Street

Book by Mark Bramble, Michael Stewart

Music composed by Harry Warren and Donald Johnston

Lyricists Johnny Mercer, Al Dubin, Mort Dixon

Choreographed by Bill Deamer

Directed by Jonathan Church



Ruthie Henshall
Josefina Gabrielle

Nicole-Lily Baisden 

Michael Praed
Adam Garcia
Aimee Hodnett
Alyn Hawke
Anthony Ofoegbu
Benjamin Mundy
Connor Hughes
Jessica Wright
Kevin Brewis
Les Dennis
Olly Christopher
Rhianna Dorris
Sam Lips
Sarah-Marie Maxwell
Erica-Jayne Alden
Jordan Crouch
Deja Linton
Greta McKinnon
Ben Middleton


Director: Jonathan Church

Choreographer: Bill Deamer

Designer: Robert Jones

Musical Supervisor : Jennifer Whyte

Lighting Designer:  Ben Cracknell

Sound Designer: Ian Dickinson, Gareth Tucker

Video and Projection: Douglas O’Connell

Orchestrator: Larry Blank, Philip J Lang


Running Time: Two hours 30 minutes with an interval

Booking until 2nd July 2023 

and then touring



Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Rosebery Avenue

London EC1R 4TN

Box Office: 020 7863 8000

Tube: The Angel

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge

at Sadler’s Wells on 13th June 2023 

The Company. (Photo: Johan Persson)