“Come and meet those dancing feet” and you will be drawn into one of the finest shows you’re likely to see this season. Marriott’s talented team of director/choreographers, Rachel Rockwell and Tammy Mader, have created absolute perfection in-the-round. This quintessential backstage story, set against dreadful economic times, succeeds because of its exuberant tap numbers, familiar,old-fashioned songs and its fairy tale success story.
Rockwell and Mader have not only made their show sing and dance, they have also mined the very heart and soul of the characters. What could have been simply light, escapist fluff in lesser hands has been skillfully fashioned into an entertaining and moving tale of passion, dedication, unified creativity and the strength found in following one’s dream. From Patti Garwood’s lush orchestral accompaniment (remember overtures and entr’actes?), to Thomas M. Ryan’s imaginative sets with its multitiered turntables, railway cars and theatre marquees, to Nancy Missimi’s endless kaleidoscope of period costumes, this production is a complete artistic achievement.
Add to this the energetic performances of the ensemble and you have a bona fide hit. Kaitlyn Davidson is a dream as plucky chorine Peggy Sawyer from Allentown. She’s matched by Tom Galantich as director Julian Marsh, whose unyielding determination to settle for nothing less than excellence drives the show. Brilliance comes from hilarious Nancy Voigts’ Maggie Jones, whose positive attitude motivates when the chips are down. Drew Humphrey brings his rich tenor voice and tapping genius to leading man Billy Lawlor; and Catherine Lord chews up the stage as spoiled diva Dorothy Brock. Marriott’s sparkling production is truly a “Lullaby of Broadway.”