Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

‘42nd Street,’ Broadway’s song and dance extravaganza, to play Eisenhower Jan. 17

The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic “42nd Street” takes the stage at Eisenhower Auditorium with a sparkling new production at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Purchase tickets, which $65 and $56 for an adult, $47 and $38 for a University Park Student, and $48 and $39 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

“42nd Street” is the tap dance extravaganza that is essentially Broadway’s “reality show” filled with backstage drama centered around the American dream of becoming a star. Musically, it includes some of the most notable standards ever written, including “We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle off to Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes for You” and, of course, “42nd Street.”

Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, “42nd Street” tells the story of Peggy Sawyer, a starry-eyed young dancer who leaves her quiet Allentown home for New York City to audition for the new Broadway musical “Pretty Lady.” When the legendary leading lady breaks her ankle, underdog Peggy takes over and, against all odds, becomes a star.

With a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Al Dubin, this sparkling new production utilizes direction by Bramble and choreography by Randy Skinner, the team that staged the 2001 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival.

The original production of “42nd Street” was produced in 1980 on Broadway by David Merrick and featured direction and dances by Gower Champion. It played on Broadway for 3,486 performances, winning Tony Awards in 1981 for Best Musical and Best Choreography. The Broadway revival, which opened in 2001, played for 1,524 performances and earned two Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical.

Find more information about the show.

Watch a montage of the production.

The Village at Penn State sponsors the presentation. WTAJ-TV and 97.1 WOWY are the media sponsors.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders. Reservations for audio description are required by Jan. 3. Phone 814-863-0255 to reserve the service.