ON a hot September night there was no better way to cool down than watching everyone else trip the light fantastic - dance their hearts out, in other words.

I usually give the review rating at the end but let's get it in early.

It's a breathless five . . . four for the stellar cast and the musicians in the pit and one extra sparkling star for the fabulous tap-dancing.

The story is merely a backdrop to a collection of classic songs and stunning choreography.

While your toes automatically tap along you can hear the standards from We're in the Money to Lullaby of Broadway and the title anthem - 42nd Street.

This is a tale of a show within a show from the 1932 novel and film a year later.

In this new lively production, we go behind the scenes as a company strives to give the show of their lives.

The producer and director meanwhile deal with the logistical problems that surround the Big Bucks tour from an injured leading lady to the clandestine romances.

The show within the show is called Pretty Lady where costumes shine as brightly as the smiles from the performers.

We follow the dreams of a small-town singer and dancer Peggy Sawyer played with lashings of charisma by Nicole-Lily Baisden.

Always a favourite performer here in Liverpool, Samantha Womack is outstanding as diva Dorothy Brock.

Samantha is scintillating on the tingly I Only Have Eyes For You.

Michael Praed clearly relishes his role as Julian Marsh.

Lea Dennis is in the current UK tour line-up but is only on selective dates, so if you are looking to see the forthcoming Strictly Come Dancing hopeful, check with the box office first.

It is a very strong cast who look as though they are enjoying every minute of this unabashed piece of entertaining escapism.

Magic on tap ... and more.

Song and dance spectacular.

Five stars

The production is on until September 9 (matinee performances on Wednesday and Saturday. For tickets, click here