PERFORMING ARTS

Singing in the Rain

There was electric excitement in the air as audiences were ushered in to see the musical stage production of that all-time classic 1952 MGM movie Singing in the Rain now playing to audiences at the Lyric Theatre at QPAC.

The original movie starred Gene Kelly (as Don Lockwood), Donald O’Connor (as Cosmo), Debbie Reynolds (as Kathy Selden) and Jean Hagen (as Lina Lamont) and is considered to be one of Hollywood’s greatest screen musicals.

The movie received two Oscar nominations for Jean Hagen and for music score and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and the movies highest praise coming with the Golden Globe Award to Donald O’Connor for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.

The story is set in the dying days of silent movies when production houses were switching to talking movies. After a rival production house has a huge hit with a talking film, Monumental Pictures decides it must follow suit.

The production of the new movie titled The Duelling Cavalier is beset with difficulties, the most significant being Lina’s grating voice and poor microphone placements. After a disastrous screen test viewing, the production house comes up with the idea of turning the movie into a musical The Dancing Cavalier.

Still concerned about Lina’s voice, Cosmo comes up with idea of dubbing Kathy’s voice over Lina’s miming, without Lina knowing. The new movie is a hit with audiences but the truth of the miming is laid bare to the audience in a comical ending.

The modern cast is well selected with Queensland’s own Gretel Scarlett and Jack Chambers stealing the show as Kathy Selden and Cosmo. Grant Almirall and Rohan Browne admirably alternate playing Don Lockwood and Erika Heynatz is outstanding in her performance as Lina Lamont.

Gretel is effervescent in her performance and she excels in all aspects with acting, dancing and especially her singing. Her performances of You Are My Lucky Star and Would You? are highlights of the show.

Cosmo is inspiring with his accomplished tap dancing, nimble slapstick and his tuneful voice in Make Em Laugh.

Older generations were taken on a trip down memory lane with the music score and both young and old audiences were on the edge of their seats (some with rain jackets) for the excellent rendition of the title track Singing In The Rain.

This is a must see musical full of nostalgia and heart warming moments.

Words by Elizabeth and Peter Lamont

Image by Darren Thomas

Details: Singing in the Rain | Lyric Theatre, QPAC | 22 September to 30 October 2016

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