See if you can guess how this story ends: Ingenue Peggy Sawyer lands in New York, looking for her big break. The star of a Broadway show is injured during rehearsal. Cue the dancers!
Yet again, on little ol' Front Street in Issaquah, Village Theatre brings the big-show dazzle, big time. With a huge cast of 26 - mostly local - actors tap-dancing and singing for all they're worth, VT's production of "42nd Street" is as earnest, as technically solid and as wonderfully corny as it gets. Just try to wipe the smile from your face when two dozen sparkling gold- and feather-clad dancers are shuffle-ball-changing in your face! And at VT, it practically is in your face; at this intimate theater in Issaquah, you're never more than a handful of yards from the stage.
Shelly Burch shines as the pampered, haughty Broadway star Dorothy Brock, taking a cue from Cruella de Vil as she saunters through "Shadow Waltz," working her road-kill fur wrap to great effect. Krystle Armstrong's Peggy Sawyer is all gee-whiz and great footwork; wide-eyed wonder and yearning, check. Who me? I couldn't possibly! But of course she does, and becomes a big star, and gets the guy in the process.
Parents, this is a solid G-rated show, and one your kids will love. They won't recognize the music, but you will: "You're Getting to be a Habit with Me," "I Only Have Eyes for You," and the overplayed, but somehow still hummable, "We're in the Money" are all here, and more. And if you have a fashion-obsessed tween, they'll go crazy for the costumes; Melanie Burgess, veteran designer for many, many local theaters, hits the glitter and glamour spot on.
I've been a big fan of VT for years, and this show is exactly why. At the end of a long day of working, parenting, driving and food-slinging, I love VT's low-key come-as-you-are vibe. You'll never pay for parking, you don't have to get all dressed up, and you get all of the glitz and production value you could ever want, at a fraction of the cost.
"42nd Street" at the Village Theatre, showing in Issaquah through July 3, and then in Everett through Aug. 1. Tickets and information at villagetheatre.org.