Ex JFS boy taps to 42nd Street
ON THE day Greg Bernstein auditioned for 42nd Street in London, nothing went to plan. To begin with he was in Plymouth appearing nightly as Valentine in the touring production of Mary Poppins and QN QKM ]X LN \^[N ]QK] QR\ SX^[WNā (400 miles return) would get him LKûT ]X ]QN ]QNK][N XW 3NþXW´\ south coast in time for the 7.30 pm curtain call.
Unfortunately, the Great Western train was delayed and as he sat staring at his tap shoes after a 5am start, hundreds of other young dancers desperate to get one of the 36 ensemble roles were already queuing for the open audition. 4þNW ;K[T 2[KVLUN 42nd Street’s co-author and director of the new production commented on the “fantastic turnout” in the capital of dancers who are now equal in ability to those in American theatre.
Greg, a former JFS pupil, was understandably stressed as he raced from Paddington to the Glass 6RUU A]^MRX\ RW AX^]QÿK[T XWUā ]X find a room full of sweaty dancers already au fait with the routine. His audition was fast becoming the story of a musical.
±7 ÿK\ MNORWR]NUā XW ]QN LKûT foot,” recalls Greg, who mumbled KYXUXPRN\ KWM \URWTNM ]X ]QN LKûT of the room to watch. “But within ten minutes of arriving they announced we had to do the rou]RWN RWMRþRM^KUUā KWM 7´M S^\] ]KTNW XOO Vā SKûTN] ²
For many this would have been a shuffle, heel, toe too far, but Greg went to the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror and replayed ]QN \]NY\ QN´M S^\] \NNW 1\ QN returned to the studio his name was called and though the panel UXXTNM MX^L]O^U KWM XOON[NM QRV an out, he refused and from the very first note was step perfect. Two I missed out on Billy Elliot because I wasn’t gritty ÿNNT\ UK]N[ ô[NP ÿK\ WX] XWUā RWþR]NM ]X SXRW ]QN ûK\] XO $"WM A][NN] but offered a dance solo as well as first understudy for the principal [XUN XO ³2N 2K[[ā´ 1UU ]QK] KWM QN VKMN R] LKûT ]X >UāVX^]Q OX[ Mary Poppins.
So who can blame him for grinning while modelling one of the eight made-to-measure suits he wears in a show that has eight vigorous and complex tap routines