Come on along and listen to…

Friedrich of 2blowhards writes in praise of 42nd Street and stated boldly:
I’m not aware of a single tune by Andrew Lloyd Webber that’s good enough to deserve a place in “42nd Street”.

How right he is. As a young Broadway fan, I was a certifiable 42ST nut I went to see the original Broadway production 3 times and have to date worn out 3 copies of the original soundtrack (two on cassette, one on CD). Of all the musicals I’ve seen in my life, it is the one that most encapsulates the spirit of Broadway. The phenomenon of musical comedy to be sure, but also Broadway the street in all its grungy, seedy glory. Jerry Orbach, before he became famous as a TV policeman, played Julian Marsh in what must surely be one of the most underrated theatrical performances of all time. How can you take your eyes off a man who sings the lyrics (I’m quoting from memory):
Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I’m taking you to,
Forty-second street.
Hear the beat of dancing feet
It’s the song I love the memory of,
Forty-second street.
Little nifites, from the fifties, innocent and sweet
Sexy ladies, from the eighties, who are indiscreet,
They’re side by side, they’re glorified.
Where the underworld can meet the elite
Naughty, gaudy, bawdy, sporty
Forty-second street.

If you look, you can still see the scuff-marks on my bedroom floor where I soft-shoed my way through that musical countless times.
(Of course, for those of you who are interested in musicals and their history, not to mention a healthy dose of Lloyd Webber-bashing, I can do no better than to instruct you to pick up Mark Steyn’s Broadway Babies Say Goodnight which takes its own title from a lyric in 42ST.)