42nd Street is more than a musical based on a film based on a book, or even a musical about the making of a musical. It's about the elation of fantasy becoming reality, the American Dream suddenly and unexpectedly (or somewhat expectedly) manifesting while 10,000 lights blaze and 40 girls tap-dance as the audience proclaims you a star. Young Peggy, a nobody from Allentown, gets one lucky break after another, helped along by her good looks and natural talent. She shoehorns her way into a chorus-girl role; she catches the eye of the director; she accidentally breaks the ankle of the show's star and she then outshines the injured star and saves the day. There's hope, and then there's Broadway-size hope, and Peggy represents both kinds. The Muny roars into its new season with 42nd Street at 8:15 Monday through Sunday (June 15 through 21) at the Muny in Forest Park (314-361-1900 or www.muny.org). Tickets are $9 to $66.
June 15-21, 2009