Ambition is a virtue for any respectable theater company, but it's especially essential for one attempting to tackle 42nd Street. Even so, based upon their history, it's not the least bit surprising that Bloomington Civic Theatre would attempt to launch their latest season so audaciously. Attribute the company's intrepidity to a creative team led by Michael Matthew Ferrell, a director skilled in the art of conjuring extravagant spectacle on a modest scale. But though the task is formidable, Ferrell's team will have it easy compared to their fictional counterparts, the motley crew of characters that populate 42nd Street. A rollicking backstage musical, the piece navigates the crazed demands of mounting a Broadway show, from placating the egos of artless producers to soothing the anxieties of would-be starlets. Though a Broadway staple, it's easy to forget that the play was once considered a risky proposition. Back in 1980, the idea of a staged adaptation of a 1933 film didn't exactly inspire confidence. Led by the irresistibly catchy compositions of Harry Warren and Al Dubin, however, the resultant work proved an instant classic. Bloomington Civic Theatre's production is further bolstered by the presence of Bonnie Erickson who is returning from a self-imposed retirement to take on the role of former star, Dorothy Brock. Factoring in Bloomington Civic Theatre's enterprising spirit, a revisit to 42nd Street should make for a rousing proposition.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m. Starts: Aug. 18. Continues through Sept. 16, 2012