Village Theatre’s ‘42nd Street’ seeks to dazzle audiences

May 4, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Get ready for a tap dancing good time as your favorite Broadway tunes come to life with exciting new choreography in the show-stopping, backstage tale of “42nd Street.”

The show debuts May 13 on Village’s Mainstage and closes out a year of celebrating the historic theater’s 30 years in Issaquah.

Pulling out all the stops, the show boasts a large cast of 26 that celebrates local actors and designers, like Bob Dahlstrom, who did the scenic design for “Show Boat,” and costumer Melanie Burgess, who created designs for “Chasing Nicolette” and “Stunt Girl.”

Audiences will follow the story of star-struck Peggy Sawyer, a fresh-from-the-farm Pennsylvanian, as she receives her first big break in New York after the star of her show is injured during a rehearsal. Her dreams unfold, surpassing even her wildest, as audiences enjoy their favorite Broadway musical tunes, like “We’re in the Money,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” and “Lullaby of Broadway.”

By Jay Koh / Village Theatre Jennifer Weingarten, Krystle Armstrong and Katie Black (from left) are among the large cast to appear in the Village Theatre production of ’42nd Street.’

“‘42nd Street’ is quite simply the ultimate in backstage musicals,” director and choreographer Steve Tomkins said in a press release. “In fact, it’s Hollywood’s version of a backstage musical in that it’s based on the 1933 film. The story takes you into the world of theater from behind the scenes and allows you to experience the magic of Broadway from every angle.”

If reliving some of Broadway’s best moments wasn’t enough of a challenge, the songs will be tapped out to complicated choreography. The show’s inspired choreography is the design of a new creative team between Tomkins and co-choreographer Kristin Culp, who also performs in the ensemble.

Culp has been professionally choreographing for eight years and has a degree in jazz dance and a minor in musical theater from Point Park University. She has assisted Tompkins in other shows, like “Meet Me In St. Louis” and “Stunt Girl,” but for “42nd Street” the team takes on new challenges, including 10 huge production dance numbers, she said in an e-mail.

“What excites me about this show is the way dance tells the story. The art of musical theater is something I’m very passionate about,” she wrote. “No other story speaks about this art form and the people who create it in the same way that ‘42nd Street’ does. I am honored to be part of the team.”

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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‘42nd Street’
Village Theatre’s Francis J. Gaudette Theatre
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