Stephen Mear, who danced in the original London production of 42nd Street in the 1980s, is to direct and choreograph a revival of the famed showbiz musical in Paris in November (he recently choreographed Singin’ in the Rain at the venue).
The show launched Catherine Zeta-Jones’ career when, as a 17-year-old, she was pitched from the chorus into the leading role when the actress playing showgirl Peggy Sawyer and the understudy both fell ill. It was life imitating art.
The Paris production will bring the curtain down on the Theatre du Chatelet as far as English-language musicals are concerned for at least two years.
The 1,800-seat theatre on the banks of the Seine will close for a massive facelift next February and not reopen until 2019.
42nd Street – lyrics by Al Dubin, music by Harry Warren – will run from 17 November to 8 January with Gareth Valentine as musical director. Casting has yet to be announced.
Mear, whose latest triumph was as choreographer for Gypsy, was a dancer himself in the early days, appearing in Evita and coming into 42nd Street when the dancer originally cast was injured.
The original Broadway production opened in 1980 and ran for 3,486 performances. 42nd Street debuted in London at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1984.
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