Local theatre critic, Robin Waples, has published this outstanding review of the opening night performance of Singin' in the Rain:
SAULT STE. MARIE - Splish splash, they've got a smash!
The Sault Symphony Orchestra and an inventive staging team that includes director Timothy Murphy and choreographers Sherry Walsh and the lead performers, have brought us a show that’s drenched in giddy-in-love-puddle-swishing charm.
This Singin’ in the Rain is saturated in acting, singing and dancing talent, features infectious music under the direction of John Wilkinson, and a stunning downpour-enabled rented set from New York that allows the group to more easily capture the spirit of the original much-beloved 1952 MGM film, including several iconic dance routines.
It really does rain on stage and audience members couldn’t help but cheer, ooh and aah during the show’s formidable Singin’ in the Rain signature number at Thursday’s opening.
Devon Shearsby, as movie star Don Lockwood, captures that Gene Kelly essence when he happy-go-luckily whirls and whooshes down the rain-soaked lane, umbrella outstretched, as he celebrates with abandon his feelings of affection for chorus girl Kathy Selden. He’s Kelly in spirit and Shearsby in execution. The dancing is perfection. A little more sustained joy on his face would make this number a real showstopper.
Set in Hollywood during the 1920s, Singin’ in the Rain is the story of silent screen actors who must cope with the transition to talkies. Along the way they decide to make their next movie a musical. Several styles of dance are showcased, but tap dance is the star.
Jennifer Avery Hutton gives a vibrant performance as ingénue Kathy, the object of Don’s affection. She shines on the tender, "You Are My Lucky Star" and the sweet, "You Were Meant For Me," her duet with Don.
Andrew Stuetz gets to clown around as Don’s cheeky sidekick Cosmo Brown, but he proves he’s a great song and dance man, too, with his "Fit as a Fiddle" and "Moses Supposes." "Make ‘Em Laugh" is an all-out standout, and the "Good Morning" trio with Don and Kathy is unforgettable.
Kassandra Bailey is adorable as the dim diva Lina Lamont, whose screeching voice and Bronx accent don’t transfer well to movies with sound. Bailey’s "What’s Wrong With Me" is delightful.
Sherry Walsh dancers are featured in several numbers including the Broadway Melody extravaganza, and a large supporting cast and ensemble that includes David Walsh, Ian Ganton, Cathy Shunock and Wayne Thompson, give it their all, as do the symphony orchestra musicians.
This dearly loved show, written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with music by Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Arthur Freed, had its challenges in meeting audience expectations, but it’s unlikely to disappoint.
Singin’ in the Rain continues tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre. Tickets are available at the box office in the Station Mall and online. Soak it up!
Check out some photos of the show, courtesy of our friends at Local2.ca:
Director: Timothy Murphy*
Musical Director: John Wilkinson
Produced by Valerie Pluss and John Stephens
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Screenplay By Songs By
BETTY COMDEN and ADOLPH GREEN NACIO HERB BROWN and ARTHUR FREED
Based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.
Music Published by EMI
(Original Movie Choreography by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen)
Produced by Arrangement With Maurice Rosenfield, Lois F. Rosenfield, and Cindy Pritzker, Inc.
Thursday, December 13 to Saturday, December 15, 2012 ~ 8:00 PM
and special matinee performance on Sunday, December 16, 2012 ~ 2:00 PM
Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre
*Timothy Murphy appears with the permission of the Canadian Actors' Equity Association.
PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY: