Singing in the Rain at Theatre Under the Stars
Singing in the Rain
Book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; Songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed
Director Shel Piercy; Music Director Wendy Bross-Stewart; Choreographer Shelley Stewart-Hunt
Theatre Under the Stars,
Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park
Alternating nights to August 20th, 2010
Vancouver, BC. As much as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will enchant children this summer, adult audiences will enjoy this production of Singing in the Rain. Although the words "singing in the rain" can't help but evoke the iconic image of Gene Kelly in the 1952 movie, the fun this TUTS cast has with the story managed to get the movie images out of my mind.
Singing in the Rain was first produced as a stage musical in London's West End more than three decades after the film version and we saw an entertaining version of the Arts Club stage a couple of years ago. This is the first time for this musical on the TUTS stage, and the talented Cailin Stadnyk gets to reprise her part from the Arts Club production, as the untalented but gorgeous Lina Lamont..
Following the previous night's opening of Joseph, it was another glorious night in Vancouver, We arrived comfortably full after an excellent meal at Adesso Bistro in the West End - of Vancouver not London, of course. London's West End is where I will be seeing shows is next week.
Set at a time when "talkies" were just starting to take over from silent movies, the story line centres around film star, Don Lockwood (Lindsay Sterk) and his leading lady Lina Lamont (Cailin Stadnyk), who, encouraged by her friend Zelda (Lori Zondag) has convinced herself that their screen romance is real and that Don is in love with her. When the Studio Head, R. F. Simpson (Fred Galloway), decides that the new Lockwood and Lamont film, The Dueling Cavalier, should be made over into a talkie, this causes a problem because Lina's voice is awful.
After a disastrous test screening, Don's best friend, Cosmo Brown (Neil Minor), suggests that they overdub Lina's voice and Don falls in love with Kathy Selden ( Lauren Bowler), who is providing the voiceover for Lina.
The premiere of the film is a tremendous success but the audience calls for Lina to sing live. Don and Cosmo get Lina to lip-synch on stage while Kathy, hidden behind a curtain, sings into the live microphone. As Lina starts "singing", Cosmo takes over from Kathy. Lina's deception is revealed by the male voice and Kathy is introduced as the real star.
As well as Dexter, the movie Director (Jameson Parker) who is driven nuts by Lina's ineptitude, and Steele (Daniel White) , the studio's legal beagle, the other 12 women and 9 men who make up the rest of the ensemble play a multitude of roles and have some great dance numbers.
Minor's version of Make 'em Laugh had the audience - well - laughing. It was one of my favorite numbers in this production. Sterk and Bowler had some great numbers together and then of course, there is the "singing in the Rain" number, with real water pouring onto the stage.
The sound system still isn't great but all in all it was another excellent night of entertainment .in a delightful setting. As another songwriter asks "who could ask for anything more?"
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