While the summer has been awash in 1920s excesses in the wake of Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” the Papillion La Vista Community Theatre is playing on the high notes hit in the following decade which laid the nation low.
“42nd Street,” a musical which debuted in 1980 and based off a novel and subsequent film in 1933, has all the trappings of Depression-era dreaming, from aspiring starlets, young love and hard-nosed producers.
The production will take the stage at Sumtur Amphitheater Thursday through Sunday at 8 p.m. and then again July 18 through 20 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Todd Brooks and choreographed by Debbie Massey, the musical focuses on a show within the show and the hopes and dreams of the naif waif Peggy Sawyer, who immediately runs afoul of a tough Broadway producer, Julian Marsh, beleaguered in his efforts to create a hit and turn the tide of his individual economic despair.
Young Peggy must navigate the cutthroat world of a Broadway chorine but eventually finds herself not only an object of theatrical promise, but affection from her formerly obdurate producer.
The show is renowned for its intricate tap-dancing numbers in the vein of the Busby Berkeley productions made famous during the Depression.
“42nd Street” enjoyed a Broadway revival more than a decade ago and has also been touring Great Britain over the last year.
Depression standards which have written their way into the American songbook from the show include its title number and one of the more heavily ironic tunes from the Dirty Thirties: “We’re in the Money.”
General admission for the show is $8. Reserved seats are $15 and VIP tickets are available for $15. For more information and to buy tickets for the production, visit the Papillion La Vista Community Theatre website at: plvct.org.