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5th Jul, 2022

It's a knockout! Standing ovations for SOS's 42nd Street at the Palace

Redditch Editorial 9th Apr, 2022

42nd Street, Studley Operatic Society

Palace Theatre, Redditch

I THINK we received two press releases from Studley Operatic Society on 42nd Street, both of which we printed in the Redditch Standard.

However neither of them quite prepared me for the show itself which is, quite frankly, absolutely sensational.

The singing is sensational, the dancing, the costumes, the cast, the accents, the pace, the band, all are sensational.

It’s so good it could have been a professional show on stage at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

How on earth did this community of players pull it off?

For make no mistake this is a triumph of the entire ensemble, who danced and sang their socks off  and gave the production that unmistakable bounce of a good time show.

It’s packed with great songs – ‘We’re in the Money’, ‘Shuffle off to Buffalo’ and of course ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ – and the harmonies they hit on the latter are to die for.

There were standout performances too: Kelly-Louise Mitchell was superb as the erstwhile star and Broadway bitch Miss Brock, who not only carried the lead role but sang her heart and somehow carried off a tap dancing routine in a pencil skirt!

Richard Smith as the impresario Julian Marsh and Paul Mitchell as lead dancer and lad about town Billy Lawlor both seized the opportunity to show off their voices and boy did they take it. Absolutely superb.

As for Laura Woodall’s ditzy Peggy Sawyer – the wannabe hoofer who literally barges her way to the top – fantastic – as was Jessica Horabin as the irrepressible Maggie Jones.

It’s difficult to know where to go from here as I’m running out of superlatives, but huge congratulations to the show’s directors Alison and Kevin Hirons and to tap choreographer Cassie Rivett.

Thanks also to SOS member Elaine Lawrence who urged me to see the show and somehow magicked me a ticket for Friday night’s performance.

There are only two performances left, both today (Saturday) at 2.30pm and 7.30pm and I understand there are still some seats available.

If you can, go and see 42nd Street – it will blow you away and like me, you’ll end up giving the players a standing ovation at the end.

Ross Crawford

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