It's the show of shows that puts the word 'jazz' together with the word 'hands' and adds 'eyes' and 'teeth' and the curtain rises on 42nd Street just high enough to reveal an army of tap-dancing feet, thundering away in perfect rhythm so hard and so fast it blows back your hair, blows you back in your seat and blows your mind all the way back to 1930s Broadway.
Tap fetishists, prepare to have all your tap dancing needs fulfilled and to be transported to a clamouring and clattering tap-dancing nirvana as, with no excuses and not even a nod to any update to modernity, this show does it wholeheartedly, unashamedly '30s style, and anyone who's seen those original black and white tap dance movies will watch in breathless wonderment to see all those familiar formations and routines faithfully and immaculately reproduced with spot on timing in glorious technicolor real life.
Infamous West Enders Marti Webb and Dave Willetts, hugely impressive and imposing as always, provide the big names and big voices for that old tale of wide-eyed innocent ingenue gets a part in the chorus line of a Broadway show with a lot of backstage shouting and hoofing and and blah blah blah, who cares, never mind the silly story, feel the SONGS, the mightily awesome musical legends, that come one after another, wham after bam after mam including We're in the Money, Keep Young and Beautiful, Lullaby of Broadway, I Only Have Eyes For You and of course the titular humdinger 42nd Street.
An enormous mirror is lowered in one scene to reflect the showgirls' geometric dance poses in a kaleidoscope Busby Berkeley style and it's pure, pure spectacular old school classical Hollywood glamour and electrifying hardcore pezazz, and when the music breaks and the theatre is filled with the deafening percussive rumble of storming tap dancing, hold onto your breath because it'll be taken away by a non stop tap dance finale that thrills on and on and on at the end.
Featuring the sets and dazzling costumes from the US production, this epic UK tour ends this week right here in Nottingham and confidentially we recommend you grab your very last chance to gorge yourself on the gorgeous extravaganzas of naughty, gaudy, bawdy, sporty, fast, furious, fantabulous, fantastical 42nd Street.
42nd Street is at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until December 1st. Full details and ticket prices can be found on their website http://www.trch.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15495