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Details: 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Del Valle Theatre, Walnut Creek; $49; 925-943-7469; diabloballet.org. 9 Manhattan Transfer: The vocal group known for its snazzy, inventive and addictive covers of jazz and pop standards, and such radio-friendly hits as “Boy from New York City,” is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a tour that drops in at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater on Saturday. Details: 8 p.m.; $50-$100; 925-373-6800, lvpac.org. 10 “Love Is a Dirty Word”: In this acclaimed 80-minute solo show, actor Giovanni Adams recounts a life in which the various elements — a religious household, a constantly shifting family structure, the realization that he is gay — often seemed at odds with each other. But his is a story of willful adaptation, not pity. Adams brings “Love” to San Francisco’s Z Space performance complex for a two-week run beginning Friday.
The remarkable thing about “42nd Street,” the show that opens Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre’s new season at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center, is how well it masquerades as a much older musical than it is, The stage musical debuted in 1980, but it’s based on the 1933 movie musical of the same title, as well as the now-obscure 1932 novel by Bradford Ropes that provided its source material, The songs by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin are all authentic 1930s numbers, even if only four of them are from the original movie, including “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me” and the dance shoes stores title number, The rest are Warren-Dubin ditties cobbled together from more than a half-dozen other flicks, such as “We’re in the Money” from “Gold Diggers of 1933,” and “Lullaby of Broadway” from “Gold Diggers of 1935.” There’s also one song with music by Warren and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, “There’s a Sunny Side to Every Situation,” from the film “Hard to Get.”..
Another way this showbiz musical resembles old-time tuners is the thinness of its plot and the fact that the songs rarely have anything to do with the story. The breezy libretto by Michael Stewart (“Bye Bye Birdie,” “Hello, Dolly!”) and Mark Bramble (“Barnum”) provides far less context than the movie does, let alone the novel. Any back stories of the characters are stripped away, and the romantic subplots are cursory at best. The winningly upbeat members of the chorus aren’t given individual personalities, and it’s not at all clear what the various people hanging around the production were hired to do. We see Andy (focused, no-nonsense Mike Birr) putting the dancers through the paces, so we can gather that’s more or less his domain. But it takes some research to discover that Ali Lane’s comically high-spirited Maggie and Derek Travis Collard’s timid Bert are the producers of “Pretty Lady,” the musical within the musical. All we need to know is they’re putting on a show, and the show must go on.
Legendary director Julian Marsh (entertainingly overbearing Edward Hightower) badly needs a new Broadway hit, The divaesque star of his show, Dorothy Brock (haughty and charismatic Maria Mikheyenko), has tremendous presence and a wonderful voice but can’t dance, Still, he’s stuck with her because she’s dating the guy who’s financing the show (Harvey T, Jordan with a mix of Southern bluster and childlike bewilderment), Fresh off the bus from Allentown, Pennsylvania, comes overenthusiastic and naive dance shoes stores Peggy Sawyer (unassuming Jessica Maxey), who’s desperate to get into the show and can tap dance like a hurricane..
At first it seems like there’s going to be a romantic subplot with Billy (cocky Andrew Mondello), the male lead of “Pretty Baby,” who starts coming on strong as soon as she walks in the door (one of several incidents of sexual harassment in the show), but nothing much comes of that. Similarly, Dorothy’s side lover Pat seems like a nice guy, amiably played by Michael Monagle, but with what little we know about their fling it comes as a surprise when it starts to be taken seriously. The whole ensemble is sharply coordinated in director Joy Sherratt’s dynamic production. The dance numbers are terrific throughout, with tightly synchronized ensemble tap dancing choreographed by Suzanne Brandt, and Margaret daSilva’s playful costumes add to the fun. The small orchestra led by music director Brett Strader delivers the show’s catchy songs deftly.
There may be not be much to “42nd Street” beyond a dance shoes stores celebration of show business, but it’s packed with enough entertainment value that you’ll want to follow the title song’s advice to “come and meet those dancing feet.”, Contact Sam Hurwitt at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him at Twitter.com/shurwitt, By Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble, Harry Warren and Al Dubin, presented by Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, Through: Nov, 19, Where: Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton..
It’s a good week to be a music fan in the Bay Area, with Fall Out Boy, LCD Soundsystem and “Beautiful” (the play about Carole King) coming through town. Here are your best bets. — Fall Out Boy (@falloutboy) October 26, 2017. Fall Out Boy: The popular rock act behind such radio hits as “Uma Thurman,” “Centuries” and, best of all, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” visits the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Nov. 14. Blackbear and Jaden Smith are also on the bill. Details: 7 p.m.; $30.50-$70.50; www.ticketmaster.com.
LCD Soundsystem: Having headlined the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park in 2016, James Murphy’s dance-rock crew returns to perform two nights, Nov, 14-15, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Details: 7:30 p.m.; $66.25; www.ticketmaster.com, — Broadway SanJose (@BroadwaySanJose) October 11, 2017, “Beautiful”: Don’t miss this acclaimed play about legendary singer-songwriter Carole King, which plays Nov, 14-19 at the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, Details: Presented by Broadway San Jose; 7:30 dance shoes stores p.m, Nov, 14-16, 8 p.m, Nov, 17, 2 and 8 p.m, Nov, 18, 1 and 6:30 p.m, Nov, 19; $43-$153; broadwaysanjose.com..