January 27, 2020

Meet the 42ND STREET Creative Team

The upcoming Lyric premiere and new-to-Chicago production of 42nd Street is sure to dazzle audiences this spring. The cast, including Broadway stars Norm Lewis and Faith Prince, will thrill Lyric audiences with this classic Broadway show, featuring beloved standards like "Lullaby of Broadway and "We're in the Money." The beautiful, larger-than-life production bursts with memorable music and toe-tapping dance that will transform the Lyric Opera House. The creative team behind the scenes also brings a range of extensive international experience in theater, in television, and in opera to Lyric.

42nd Street director and choreographer Stephen Mear is an Olivier Award-winner for his choreography in Mary Poppins in 2005, and for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s 2010 production of Hello Dolly!. For his work on Mary Poppins, he also received the LA Drama Circle Critics award for Best Choreography, the Helpmann Award in Australia for Best Choreography, and Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nominations. Mear’s other Olivier Award choreography nominations come from his work with Soul Train, Singin’ in the Rain, Sinatra, Sweet Charity, Crazy for You, Kiss Me, Kate, and Gypsy. His staging for the 2015 play, The Vote, which premiered live on television the night of the Brexit election in London, was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award (BAFTA) in 2016. Mear has been described by The Telegraph as “the old-style master of the modern chorus line,” and has also brought his talents to such well-known television programs as So You Think You Can Dance, The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Victoria Wood Show. He created this production of 42nd Street at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Conductor Gareth Valentine is a frequent collaborator with Stephen Mear and has worked across TV, theater, and film as a music supervisor, arranger, conductor, and music director. In the West End, he has worked on productions including Cats, Miss Saigon, Cabaret, Kiss Me, Kate, Chicago, Damn Yankees, Sinatra, Oliver!, Merrily We Roll Along, Anything Goes, and more. Valentine was the composer and music supervisor for Aladdin, the pantomime at the Old Vic starring Ian McKellen and Roger Allam. He has also conducted ensembles worldwide including the BBC Concert Orchestra, Welsh National Opera Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Valentine led this production at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Mear, and here’s a fun fact  he was a cast member in the original 1984 West End production of 42nd Street with Catherine Zeta-Jones!

Peter McKintosh, the London-based set and costume designer for 42nd Street, received two Tony Award nominations for his scenic and costume designs for the 2008 play, The 39 Steps, and won an Olivier Award for Best Costume Design for Crazy for You in 2012. His work covers a diverse range of projects for theater and opera internationally, including at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Old Vic, Royal Danish Opera, and English National Opera. 

Lighting designer Chris Davey works frequently with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre. He has lit hundreds of productions internationally with several theater, dance, and opera companies. Sound designer Mark Grey is an Emmy Award-winning sound designer whose work with Lyric has encompassed several productions since 2007, most recently West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The King and I, The Merry Widow, Carousel, and The Sound of Music. He is also a well-known composer who has been commissioned or premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, National Opera of Belgium La Monnaie, Carnegie Hall, and more. 

A production created by the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.


Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes. Original direction and dances by GOWER CHAMPION. Originally produced on Broadway by DAVID MERRICK. The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Bros., the owner of music publishers' rights. 42nd Street is presented by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK.

Photos: Marie-Noëlle Robert, Peter Hurley