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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 12, 2005

Photo: The touring production of '42nd Street' features Mara Davi as Peggy Sawyer.

Tony Award-Winning '42nd Street' Comes To Hancher Jan. 28-30

Winner of the 1980 Tony Award for Best New Musical and the 2001 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, "42nd Street" will come to the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium for five performances: at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 29 and 30.

A Broadway legend, "42nd Street" defined musical comedy, with its star-is-born story, spectacular design, score of hit standards, the largest show chorus and the most admired ensemble tap dancing ever to tour North America.

The original Broadway production of "42nd Street" ran for more than eight years and is one of the 10 longest-running shows in Broadway history. The Broadway revival opened May 2, 2001, at the Ford Theatre, where it was the jewel in the crown of a renewed and invigorated 42nd St. in New York City.

" 42nd Street" features Broadway standards including "We're in the Money," "Shuffle Off To Buffalo," "Lullaby of Broadway," "I Only Have Eyes For You," and, of course, the title number, danced down a flight of steps.

Critics have described the show as "virtually nonstop pleasures" (Linda Winer, Newsday), "tap-dance heaven!" (Michael Kichwara, Associated Press), "pure exhilaration" (Clive Barnes, the New York Post), "lavish showmanship that shines from every last sequin" (Charles Isherwood, Variety), and "pure razzmatazz!" (Clifford A. Ridley, the Philadelphia Inquirer).

From the source material of 1930s movies including "42nd Street" (1933), "Gold Diggers of 1933," "Dames" (1934) and "Gold Diggers of 1935," Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble wrote the book (based on the novel by Bradford Ropes), Harry Warren wrote the music, and Al Dubin wrote the lyrics, for the 1980 stage premiere of "42nd Street."

The original Broadway production was directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, while the Broadway revival was directed by Mark Bramble and choreographed by Randy Skinner, who had served as associate choreographer for the original Broadway production.

The "42nd Street" touring production is produced by Big League Theatricals, Inc.

Michael Stewart (book) scored on Broadway the first time out when he won a Tony for his "Bye, Bye Birdie" libretto. Subsequently he was the librettist for "Carnival," for which he won the Drama Critics' Circle Award, and "Hello, Dolly!," which won him both the Tony and the Drama Critics' prize. He also wrote the books for "George M!," "Mack and Mabel" and "The Grand Tour"; both book and lyrics for "I Love My Wife" and lyrics for "Barnum." Stewart died in 1987.

Mark Bramble (book) directed not only the 2001 Tony Award winning revival of "42nd Street" but also productions in Amsterdam, London, Tokyo and Sydney. His writing credits include "Barnum," which introduced Glenn Close as a leading actress and received 10 Tony Award nominations including those for Best Book and Best Musical.

Harry Warren and Al Dubin (music and lyrics) are legendary tunesmiths both as a team and as individuals. Between the two, their prodigious careers spanned six decades. They wrote Broadway shows and revues, and were pioneer songwriters for sound pictures. Dubin, born in Switzerland in 1891, died in New York in 1945. Warren was born in Brooklyn in 1893 and died in 1981.

Gower Champion (original direction and dances) was awarded the Tony Award for Best Choreography for "42nd Street" and also won the Drama Desk Award in the same category. His name is synonymous with some of the greatest musicals in Broadway history. He passed away in 1980.

Valerie Garner Rives (director, North American tour) is the associate director of the current Broadway revival and of the first national tour. Rives began her connection with this classic musical as an assistant stage manager of the 1993 national tour. She has over 20 years of experience as an actor and a stage manager.

Randy Skinner (new choreography and musical staging) is an award-winning director, choreographer and performer. He served as associate choreographer for the original Broadway production of "42nd Street." He re-created many of the original dances for the 2001 revival, as well as adding some new dances of his own creation, for which he garnered Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire nominations.

In addition, this production of "42nd Street" utilizes the designs of other members of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival design team: Douglas W. Schmidt (set design), Roger Kirk (costume design) and David H. Lawrence (wigs and hair). Rick Conant recreated the choreography for this production, and Charlie Morrison was lighting designer.

Big League Theatricals, Inc., is celebrating its 15th season of producing, general managing, and booking Broadway musicals and attractions for touring throughout North America. Touring productions include "Miss Saigon," Meredith Willson's "The Music Man," "Footloose," "Titanic," "The King and I" (North American and Brazilian tours), "The Who's Tommy" (North American and Brazilian tours), and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Visit their website at www.bigleague.org.

Local sponsors of "42nd Street" through the University of Iowa Foundation are Cambridge Place Apartments, Phyllis Miller, owner; Hills Bank and Trust Co.; Sheraton Iowa City Hotel; and Universal Climate Control, Thomas and Kathryn Nereim, owners.

Remaining tickets are $43 and $40 $38.70 and $36 for UI students and senior citizens; and $30.10 and $28 for youth) from the Hancher box office.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours, beginning Jan. 18, are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website: http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: hancher-box-office@uiowa.edu.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS are available at http://www.uiowa.edu/hancher/media.html

OTHER INFORMATION: Video is available.