A Star is Born

42nd Street is an American musical and its 2001 Broadway revival won the Tony for Best Revival. Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and the subsequent 1933 Hollywood film adaptation, the show focuses on the efforts of famed dictatorial Great White Way Director Julian Marsh to mount a successful stage production of a musical extravaganza at the height of the Great Depression.
It contains the lines ‘keep your feet on the ground and your head on those shoulders of yours and go out, and Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster but you’ve got to come back a star!’

In the match between Yeh and Lavazza, it fell to the least well know member of the team to make a brilliant play.


In the Closed Room Giorgio Duboin and Sylvie Willard had bid and made 4Cuori – South had opened 1NT and bid 4Cuori over North’s 4Fiori. After a club lead to the ace and a diamond switch declarer had gone up with the ace, pitched a diamond on the king of clubs and played on cross ruff lines.


With what looked like a robust holding in the unbid suit South did not bother investigate the possibility of a 5-3 heart fit, settling for the nine-trick game.

If West leads a club East can win and return the suit. Then all West needs to do is go up with the ace of spades and play a third club, establishing five winners for the defence.

However, West went with the four of spades and declarer won with dummy’s king and ran the ten of diamonds, repeating the finesse when it held. West won and switched to the queen of hearts. Declarer won in hand with the king and cashed her diamonds, throwing two spades and a club from dummy, while the defenders parted with clubs.

Seeing no danger, declarer ran the nine of hearts to East’s queen to leave this position:


The rest of team Lavazza were gathered in the beautiful auditorium of the Lavazza Hall della Innovation, following the play. They realised that East now had the opportunity to make a special play, but they could only hold their collective breaths as she searched for a solution.

Eventually she played a card. It was the ace of clubs, which executed the rare feat of the defenders squeezing declarer.

If declarer threw a heart from dummy East would be able to exit in that suit and West would take the last two tricks, so declarer threw a spade, hoping that East had started with only one spade. Now the jack of spade gave West three tricks in the suit and the contract was two down.


When the ace of clubs appeared on the screen there was an explosion of joy from the rest of the Lavazza squad – Emanuela had come back a star!