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Review: 42nd Street at Curve, Leicester

42nd Street is a glittering powerhouse of a production, which is sure to leave even the most blasé of theatregoers with a huge grin and a head full of toe-tapping tunes!

Yes, if you’re after an ultra sparkly night of entertainment – something which is packed full of energy and feel good vibes, look no further than this glittering spectacle, which is running at Leicester’s Curve Theatre until Saturday, June 3.

Leicester Time: Review: 42nd Street at Curve, Leicester
Credit: Johan Persson

42nd Street is the story of a new musical being made in the 1930’s, against the backdrop of the Depression in New York, with everyone desperate to rekindle their careers after the industry nearly shut down and to create an upbeat show that will lift the spirits of its audiences.

It is also the story of a young performer called Peggy Sawyer, who travels to New York with stars in her eyes and rises from chorus girl to star through the events of the show.

In this special ‘Made at Curve’ production, Peggy is played by the exquisite Nicole-Lily Baisden, who shone with her perfect tap dancing skills, searing voice and dazzling smile throughout.

A real treat came towards the end of the show, when she belted out the title track ‘Forty-Second Street’ with undeniable conviction. A charming and captivating performer indeed…

Leicester Time: Review: 42nd Street at Curve, Leicester
Credit: Johan Persson/

Another performer who impressed me immensely, was Sam Lips – the show’s leading man who plays Billy Lawlor. The handsome and charismatic character is described as a “Tenor with base ideas,” and boy can he sing!

I would go as far as to say he was the strongest singer in the show, and what amazed me was not only the sheer power of his voice but also the ease with which those tremendous vocals seemed to come out. A vocal powerhouse and then some…

Les Dennis added humour to proceedings in his role as Bert Barry and the glamorous Ruthie Henshall got some of the biggest laughs of the night, thanks to her character’s sassy lines and the impeccable comic timing of the actress herself.

Of course I couldn’t do a review of this musical without mentioning the incredible chorus performers who exerted themselves throughout the show, displaying a tremendous amount of skill and an abundance of infectious energy.

All of the dancers were strong and sharp as they tapped away to songs such as ‘We’re in the Money’, ‘Getting out of Town’ and ‘There’s a Sunny Side to Ev’ry Situation’, and I was transfixed by the glittering costumes they wore so well. Never before had I seen so much glamour and so many sequins in one place!

This performance of ‘42nd Street’ was directed by Jonathan Church, who injected so much style and joie de vivre into the show, it was impossible to leave without feeling energised and tremendously inspired.

42nd Street is a larger-than-life, massively entertaining celebration of musicals and the irrepressible spirit of Broadway that’s guaranteed to lift anyone’s spirits. Don’t miss it!

By Louise Steel

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