Singin' in the Rain Makes a Big Splash on Stage
Lawrance Bernabo, Duluth News Tribune
November 30, 2012
Singin' in the Rain is the best movie musical ever (whereas "The Sound of Music" is the best movie made of a musical). Why on Earth would Broadway want to turn it into a stage musical? Because there is something so inherently cool about pulling off on stage something that you think they can do only in a movie. In this case that would be the celebrated title song, which takes place in a rain storm on stage.
I can report that the people in the fourth row were really hoping that the people in the first three rows were going to get wet, and they were not disappointed. Which explains the squeals of surprise and delight that came from the audience on Thursday night when the stage musical, directed by Tom Woldt, opened with all of its imposing technical demands. The Playhouse audience was buzzing during intermission about Dustin Hagen as Don Lockwood, singin' and dancin' and splashin' in the rain at the end of Act I, while the stage crew was busy swabbing down the stage and drying it out.
Hagen has a natural charm on stage and hearing these familiar songs sung in his rich baritone gives them new depth. But the best part of his performance was [rest of sentence unintelligible because Hagen kicked water on my notes and they got smudged]. Comic relief is supplied by Kyle McMillan as faithful sidekick Cosmo Brown, who gets his fair share of laughs, but whose singin' and talkin' in the lower register does not always get heard, a persistent problem with the Playhouse sound system.
As Kathy Seldon, Ali Littrell Finstrom is clearly the vocal star of the evening as soon as she launches into "You Are My Lucky Star." Plus the lady knows how to mug. The evening's undisputed leader in laughs is Amber Burns as Lena Lamont with her wide eyes, self-satisfied smile, and above all the kewpie doll voice combining an accent worthy of fingernails scraping down a blackboard with an absolutely idiosyncratic sense of pronunciation.
Burns also is the show's choreographer and the dance numbers go from the adorably cute "All I Do is Dream of You" and running around and over everything in "Good Morning" to the splash dancin' of the title number, a little bit of everything in "Broadway Melody," and the all hands on deck finale. The tap dancing, which is adequate, is where this production pales most in comparison to the film, but the title is indeed Singin' in the Rain, and that is the cast's major strength.
All of the songs from the film pretty much make it into the stage version, although "The Broadway Ballet" is significantly cut down to "Broadway Melody" and sung by Cosmo instead of Don. There are also two "new" songs: "You Stepped Out of a Dream" in the first act is Hagen's best vocal performance of the evening, while in the second Lena sings "What's Wrong with Me?" It is nice to have Lena finally get to sing a song herself, but this one is only moderately cute and given the strength of Burns' performance, she and Lena really deserves something more than this trifle.
The 1920s flapper costumes designed by Jean Olson are lots of fun, especially those worn at the premier of "The Royal Rascal" which opens the show, including the gorgeous gown worn by Alaina Konstenius and Erin Blazevic's dress with the fringe on bottom. The first of two nice little "cameos" happens at that point, the other coming when we are introduced to the new marvel of the age, the "talking picture" in one of several film segments.
Lee Peterson does a nice enough job singin' the tenor part in "Beautiful Girls," but is utterly delightful as Don's elocutionist, rolling his R's while declaring "Around the rocks the rugged rascal ran" and other tongue twisters. There is usually one number you end up liking better than the original in the movie, and Peterson joins Hagen and McMillan in making "Moses Supposes" that number this time around.
The set designed by Curtis Phillips is something of a Chinese puzzle box, shifting panels and opening doors to set the scene and accommodate set pieces with the Playhouse's limited back stage space. A lot of this has to be done while action is happening on stage, which is mildly distracting, but it is not often you see stairs moved around on stage by two guys in tuxedoes.
Then again, how often do you get to see it rain on stage?
Singing in the rain was recently performed by the Duluth Playhouse. This play definitely made a “splash”. Literally it rained on stage. Of course with the play being about a storm it is only natural to make the storm come to life. It was very intriguing to see it actually raining inside though. Some of the audience even got to experience the rain as they got sprinkled from time to time. The only down fall to having it actually raining on stage was the noise it causes. The rain noise was distracting from time to time even though it was sound affects actually used in the play.
The play was no let down to the classic movie, Singing in the Rain, instead it was a fun, upbeat way to really interact with the beloved characters other than on a TV screen. All of the actors were very talented singers and actors. Each deserving praises of their own.
The actor playing Don Lockwood, Dustin Hagen, did a wonderful job of having a rich full voice. It was very easy to hear him and did an excellent job performing. I was really draw in to his character because he had such a humble back ground it made him seem more personable and Hagen did a good job of portraying his character.
Kyle McMillan, playing Cosmo Brown also did an excellent job, although it was hard to hear him at times. He was able to hit all of the lower notes with ease making them sound cool and sophisticated.
As Kathy Seldon, Ali Littrell Finstrom, did a marvelous job and totally stole the show during the song “you are my lucky star”. In the end as she becomes the star Lena wants to be it was an overall tremendous excitement for the crowd. The hidden Kathy finally finds light and is rewarded with stardom.
Amber Burns playing Lena Lamont did a hilarious acting job. Her high pitched, child-like voice along with the ego that she carried made for such a hilarious character. Also her accent was also very, nicely stated, annoying. This accent is that of Lena and was master wonderfully by Burns in order to recreate the character of Lena.
The Choreographer did a magnificent job as it was obvious that they spent their time perfecting each dance. There was a wide variety of dances in this play from tap dance to choreographed splashing in rain puddles, and everything in between. It was fun to see so much movement on stage.
The costumes were wonderful also. They adequately told a story in and of themselves. It was clear that the play was of the flapper era. All the costumes fight the actors quite well and it helped set the stage for the play. With the actual stage this part was interesting. The stage was at times distracting because it moved from time to time. The stage panels would sometimes switch during an act or stairs where moved right in the middle of a scene.
This is a play that is recommended to all ages. The timeless classic of the movie singing in the rain was excellently portrayed in this witty and fun theater performance.
December 5, 2012
Singin in the Rain
The production of Singin in the Rain put on by the Duluth Playhouse took a theatrical spin on the 20’s classic and timeless film, directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly originally. Many avid movie buffs don’t feel classic movies can be performed as well by theatre groups, but this is definitely not the case. This performance, directed by Tom Woldt, did a phenomenal stage performance of this fun storyline. And not to be let down, but it truly did actually rain, which was the biggest concern before the show of all of those audience members who went to the show. The rain fell and the characters sang and danced, splashing around in the rain that fell from the ceiling and filled the stage. This upped the anti of the production, proving the many technical needs and demands that were met in order to pull off the opening shows. It was so refreshing to see a performance that worked in the elements of weather to play right along with the melodic numbers and themes. Audience member’s definitely got soaked from all the “singin” and playing in the rain. This created a unique bond among the characters and audience, in which the audience could connect even more with the story and feel immersed inside of it.
The actors and actresses did a great job of playing the roles of characters as well as singing their classic medleys. The main character, Dustin Hagen, played the role of Don Lockwood, the poster child of playing out on the city street and singin in the rain. He did a great job of hitting the baritone level that sent chills up the audience’s spine as he did his rendition of the timeless songs. Overall, all of the characters did an excellent job of defining their roles and fitting methodically into the plot and setting. They take the audience on the journey of the famous on-screen romance which is mistaken for real love by Lina.
The original film made waves as it transitioned from a world of mostly silent films to one of sound, which was monumental for the time era. I feel the play performed at the Playhouse here in Duluth made great strides as well. They took the next step up and created a memorable theatre experience audience members will not forget. The first few rows of the theatre can vouch for that, as they left the show feeling a little damper, but happy too. It’s astounding that one small theatre company can create such a moving and innovational production to capture and entrance audience members. This play was incredible to see and far from being a regret. This is recommended to anyone looking for a fun and flirty look into the past of a very classic tale enhanced to todays remarkable technologies. Even if those movie buffs only stand by the movie version, or if you’ve never seen the movie, this performance is a once in a lifetime chance to see something unique to the theatre world, right in our own backyard.
December 5, 2012
Singin in the Rain
The Duluth Playhouse and director Tom Woldt put on an interesting rendition of the classic 20’s film, Singin in the Rain, originally directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. This play performance of the famous film went above and beyond the expectations. To start off, it actually rained on stage! In order to have the full effect of the play, rain came pouring down on stage. This made the musical numbers amazing to watch and the audience really felt a part of the play. They even left the show with damp clothes to prove it.
The stage setting made it obvious that this occurred in the flapper era. The marvelous and well done costumes helped portray the time period as well. The costumes were top-notch. The musical numbers sent chills through the audience’s spines. The actors never missed a note. The singing was pitch perfect. This combined with the well choreographed dance numbers made the show unforgettable. Every little step in the puddles was synched to make the show even more enjoyable.
Don Lockwood, the humble poster-child, played by Dustin Hagen, did a great job in singing his solos. Kathy Seldon, played by Alli Littrell Finstrom, took the audience’s breath away with her performance of the song “You Are My Lucky Star”. This was definitely a favorite throughout the show. Amber Burns did a hilarious job at portraying the childish and witty personality of Lena Lamont.
The only problems with the show were that sometimes the rain sound affects would over-power the actors’ voices in some parts. It was sometimes a little difficult to hear. Other than a few sound affect difficulties, the show was two thumbs up. This is a great show for all audiences and is recommended for everyone. This is a must see show.
The Duluth Playhouse succeeded in making a huge splash with the spectacular production Singin’ In The Rain! It was breathtaking watching all the twirling skirts, heal clicking jumps, and the rain! Director Tom Woldt did not disappoint with his first production at the Duluth Playhouse.
Hollywood is beginning to make the big transition to movies with sound. Don Lockwood (Haden) and his acting partner Lina Lamont (Amber Burns) are stars in the world of silent films. Even though the Don and Lina’s fans believe them to be sweethearts, the relationship portrayed between them is comically ridiculous comical, and all wrong. It was a relief when Don (Halden) met the witty and very talented Kathy Seldon (Ali Littrell Finstrom). Halden and Finstrom do very well at portraying the adorable relationship between Don and Kathy.
Monumental Pictures decides to hop on board with the new movie art form. They plan to have their next big production, The Dueling Cavalier, include talking. For Don, the transition from silent films to talking films fits him well. His voice and dancing skills were nothing but exceptional. But for Lina (Burns), this was not the case. Everything from her grating voice to her stubborn, snooty personality threatens the success of the film. The beautiful voice of Kathy Selden (Finstrom) is the only chance for the film to be saved. It was crazy watching Kathy’s (Finstrom) voice come out of Lina’s (Burns) mouth in The Dueling Cavalier.
This 1920s musical was filled with entertaining songs and dances. The musical number Moses, performed by Don (Hagen), Cosmo Brown (Kyle McMillan), and the Voice Teacher (Lee Peterson), left the audience laughing at the absurdity of the tongue twister. The classic Singin’ In The Rain, performed by Don (Hagen), had the audience shrieking as he splashed water at them from the puddles on stage. Lina Lamont (Amber Burns) had the audience roaring with laughter as she sang What’s Wrong With Me? in her shrill and squeaky voice.
The fast scene changes and special effects were very impressive in this production. At one point the cast is in Grauman’s Theatre and the next moment they are outside among the street lamps of Hollywood Boulevard. The dancing and stunts that were performed drew gasps and cheers from the audience. It was nerve-racking watching Halden and McMillan tap dance on top of a rolling desk during the Moses number. McMillan performed a few daring flips along with a few others in the ensemble. The best special effect was the rain! It was very hard not to smile when Halden danced and skipped his way through the falling rain as he sang Singin’ In The Rain.
The only glitch in the production was when a few of the actor’s mikes cut in and out. It must be difficult to have the mikes working properly when the actors are moving and dancing around the stage for a majority of the production.
For those who love musicals, this one did not disappoint. It was hard not to laugh out loud at the silliness. The entire cast did an excellent job along with the orchestra and backstage support crew. It was wonderful to leave with a glorious feelin’!
Cassie Gazzolo's Review on Singin' in the Rain 12/6:
The Duluth Playhouse recently opened their performance of Singin' in the Rain. Tom Woldt directed the performance originally done by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. Woldt did a great job tying the storyline and stage performance together and it created a phenomenal performance. It was a fun twist on the classic film. The performance done at The Duluth Playhouse put on an exceptional performance, going beyond what the audience could have imagined. The musical numbers throughout the performance never had a dull moment and kept the audiences attention. Some of the audience even felt the rain from there seats, coming out of the show with damp clothes on. This performance was something very unique to The Duluth Playhouse, and created something special between the characters and the audience.
The scenic design of Singin' in the Rain by Curtis Phillips was set in the 1920's flapper time. The stage had actual rain not just drizzling, but pouring rain. At times throughout the performance the rain overpowered the actor's voices, and it was hard to focus on what the actors where doing. After Act I then stage crew literally had to dry off the stage! Due to the lack of backstage space, it was a little busy on the stage but Phillips did a great job with the space he was given and created such a unique scenic design.
The costumes by Jean Olson helped create that 1920's style Phillips wanted the audience to feel. All the costumes fit the actors characters perfectly and helped set the stage. The costumes by far created the 1920's feel with the flapper look carried throughout the performance. With the actors needing to be jumping and dancing throughout the entire performance, the costumes worked well.
Dustin Hagen, played Don Lockwood, did a great job of hitting every note he needed during his songs. It was amazing what came out of his mouth once he started his solos. Alli Litrell Finstrom played Kathy Seldon who sang beautifully. Both Hagen and Finstrom did an incredible job singing. While Amber Burns played the humorous Lena Lamont. None of the actors ever missed a note, and were perfectly on pitch. The singing combined with the choreographed dancing made the show unbelievable. Even the steps into puddles were synced with what was taking place on stage.
All in all the performance of Singin' in the Rain was very well portrayed and went along well with the movie. Woldt didn't disappoint with his friend production at The Duluth Playhouse. This was a fun performance of a classic film done by The Duluth Playhouse, it was incredible how such a small theatre production can follow through with such an amazing performance. Singin' in the Rain is a show worth seeing and recommended for everyone of all ages, even the movie fans will love the performance!
The Duluth Playhouse did a wonderful job of wonderful job with their production of Singin in the Rain, which resulted in a standing ovation from the very impressed audience. Tom Woldt directed this production; his casting and design decisions were phenomenal. This musical seemed to be effortless for the actors, there were no mishaps with their lines, and they adapted well to having to sing and dance around stage as it was raining!
Don Lockwood (Dustin Hagen) was the main character of this play; there were many musical scenes that he performed which brought smiles to many of the audience members faces. Don Lockwood is a movie star that performs in romance films with his costar Lena Lamont (Amber Burns). From Lean’s point of view, Don is very much in love with her and she gets very upset when she finds that he is interested in Kathy Selden (Ali Littrell Finstrom). Kathy met Don on the street and eventually fell in love with him. When new technology is developed turning Don and Lena’s films into sound productions there is a small problem, Lena’s voice is not exactly easy on the ears. After a lot of failures trying to use Lena’s real voice, they devise a plan to have Kathy be the voice for Lena. This works out very well until Lena takes all the credit and does not want her reputation to be tarnished by having people find out that she wasn’t really the one singing. In the end when Lena is accepting her award and starts to lip sink to Kathy’s voice, the curtain was pulled up and everyone was able to see that she had been lying the whole time.
All of these actors did a wonderful job of staying in character, most impressive was Amber’s ability to alter her voice and maintain the same voice even while performing songs. It was also impressive to see the how well choreographed the dance numbers were, there was a number that was performed in the rain where everyone held an umbrella which looked very interesting from the audience.
One really interesting element about this play was that from in the audience you could see the orchestra through a screen as they were playing. They played along with most scenes in the play, providing nice background music to listen too. With every scene change came interesting new props that made the play more lifelike.
The lighting element of this play gave it a warm feeling during scenes where Don was with Kathy and changed along with the different emotions of the play. There was a dim light that hit the orchestra making it fun to watch in the background.
The 1920’s theme of this play had a heavy influence on the costume design for the characters. The men had on mostly brown suits that had an older look to them while the women had the classic vision of a “flapper” from the 20’s that was reflected in their hair and dress.
Overall, this musical is definitely worth attending. This classic musical is appropriate for all ages and its upbeat feel will have you wanting to hear more. For those who love a fun story line and an action packed play, this one will not disappoint.
Singing in the Rain Review
Don’t Forget Your Rain Boots!
By Ellie Mueller
December 11, 2012
Duluth’s Dudley Theatre opened its doors for the stage musical Singin' in the Rain November 30, 2012. This classic 20s film directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly was remade into a timeless and unforgettable performance directed by Tom Woldt. Donen and Kelly’s film will forever be known as the best musical film of all time. Because of this, there were many high expectations for this production. Woldt’s production could not have gone any better. Many were expecting a great show, and a great show is what they got!
Singin' in the Rain took on a theatrical perspective and had a great approach on the play script and sticking with the ideas of the original film. What moved the audience was when it rained on stage. REAL RAIN! This famous scene could not have been made complete without actual rain and Woldt captured the scene and bring memories from the original film in a way that the audience will never forget. This created believability in this play because of the wonderful technical effects that helped create the feeling as if the audience was there with Don Lockwood in this scene.
Dustin Hagen played the one and only, Don Lockwood. There couldn’t have been a better person to play this role. Whenever Hagen opened his mouth, the audience went silent in amazement. He nailed every song with confidence, enthusiasm, and pitch.
Kathy Seldon was played by actress Ali Littrell Finstrom and stole the show when she was given her solos. Finstrom was phenomenal and the audience was impressed by her vocal skills. Her best performance that stole the took the audience away was “You Are My Lucky Star.” Finstrom really did create a believable Kathy because of her passion for singing is also shown in her performance of Kathy.
Lena Lamont was played by Amber Burns and she couldn’t have done a better performance of making the audience laugh. She was hysterical. Her squeaky, pitchy singing brought back memories of the original film.
The other characters throughout the play were phenomenal, but Hagen and Finstrom worked well to create a believable passion for singing and the love of the theatre.
Jean Olso designed the fabulous 1920s costumes for cast. The 1920s flapper dresses created a believable time frame and made this production lots of fun to watch.
I highly recommend seeing Tom Woldt production of Singin' in the Rain. Guaranteed laughs and taking breaths away! It is a must see, just don’t forget to wear your rain boots!
Dec 8 2012
Singin’ in the Rain
Singin’ in the Rain is a classic story based off of a movie musical and adapted for the stage. From above average special effects, to wonderful performers, this show was a blast.
Lina Lamont played by Amber Burns, was one of the most important characters in keeping the audience connected with the show. At times she made the audience erupt in laughter at her obliviousness to the screeching of her obnoxious voice and personality, and others had the audience ready to rip her head off due to her lack of concern, and intentional sabatogue of Kathy’s future career. Her solo What’s Wrong with Me? pretty much summed up her view of herself, and the audience got a good laugh out of it.
Don Lockwood, the lead role, was played by Dustin Hagen. Hagen was a great fit as Lockwood. He was very energetic and had a wonderful voice for all of his solos. He was also great at dancing. A lot of men are rather clumsy when it comes to dancing, but Hagen moved seemingly with ease and gracefulness. Hagen did wonderfully as the lead in this popular show.
Cosmo was a good comic character, played by Kyle McMillan. The scene where he paced back and forth trying to think of a new name for the Dueling Cavaliers was loved by the audience because his expressions and motions we hilarious. McMillan provided a lot of laughs throughout the show, and His personality suited it well.
Ali Littrell Finstrom, as Kathy Selden, had a beautiful voice, which was exactly what she needed for her role. The unknown singer who is up and coming in the acting/singing scene. Every time she sang it was as if everything else in the world stopped and the only thing the audience could do was listen to her sing.
The special effects in this show were better than your average theatre effects. During the song Singin’ in the Rain, there was real water falling on stage. The actors didn’t seem to mind the wet, and Hagen even took multiple chances to spray the first few rows by kicking water from the floor onto them. This extra little touch was like the cherry on top of the production. Other than a few glitches by the mics, everything else was excellent. This musical was well worth the $26 ticket.
The Duluth Playhouse did a great job on putting on one of the most classic movies known. The Duluth Playhouse has just been recently performing Singin’ in the Rain. Not only is this movie great on TV, but it was even more fabulous to see it be performed on stage. It’s something about seeing everything that is performed on TV, become performed for real right in front of your very own eyes.
Nothing makes a play more effective than the actors and actresses playing their roles, and this musical definitely did a great job doing that. Not one character did a bad job at their singing; however the dancing could have been a little better. The character Kathy Seldon played by Alli Littrell Finstrom was one of the audiences favorite, especially when she sang “You Are My Lucky Star.” Don Lockwood played by Dustin Hagen did a grand job as well. His singing was very phenomenal. The voice that came out of that mouth of his was just jaw dropping. We can’t leave out the childish and humorous Lena Lamont. Lena Lamont was played by Amber Burns who did a wonderful job at acting her role. Her personality made the audience not be able to not love her.
The costumes definitely helped portray that we were back in the 1920s. The costume design was done by Jean Olson. She did a great job with the 1920 looking costumes. The flapper costumes for the ladies were especially done well. They were real fun for the production.
The set design was designed by Curtis Phillips. Boy, did he do a fantastic job with creating this one. Different things were changing throughout the entire play, which actually was sometimes distracting for the audiences eyes. You could tell Curtis was just trying to make every scene perfect for the play, but he had to work with a small amount of space. However, the set design was still wonderful and fit the 1920s time set. One really unique thing that happened was that it actually rained on the stage. No, it was not just a little drizzle, but actual rain. This was something the audience loved and thought was very unique. However, the audience sitting in the first few rows may have not loved it as much, since even some of them got wet as well. That however made it seem like you were even more involved with the play. One not so good thing about the rain however was that sometimes you couldn’t always here the actors voices because the rain was overpowering their voices.
Even with the sound problems, this play was still an excellent musical to see. Everything that was involved in producing it including costumes, actors, set design, etc., made the musical a great entertainment for anyone watching it. This is a great play for all ages and for someone looking to watch something fun and joyful. If you have never seen any kind of production of Singin’ in the Rain, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. You will not be let down after seeing it.
December 12, 2012
Singin in the Rain Review
The Duluth Playhouse performed the play Singin in the Rain and was directed by Tom Woldt. Originally, Singin in the Rain was a popular 1920s movie musical directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. People will argue that a movie cannot be transformed into a play, but this was definitely not the case. There was never a dull moment throughout the production, with the highlight of the play being when rain actually fell onto the stage and front row audience members during a musical! It allowed the audience to feel like they were actually apart of the performance. Without a doubt, that was one of the most amazing events to unfold at a play this semester.
The scenes in Singin in the Rain worked very well. The scene changes were incredibly fast which was great because it kept the play flowing well. It seemed like every new scene, there were new props on stage to keep the audience fresh. Another impressive aspect of this production was the special effects. The performance came to life when the actors sang while it rained. The negative part about the rain on stage was it was very loud, so there were times when the actors could not be heard very well. Also, the rain kind of became the focus of the play because it was such a neat thing and most of the audience had never seen something like that. It was awesome, but also a distraction. The lights did a brilliant job to indicate the mood of the play. When it was brighter on stage, it tended to be a happier mood.
The costumes worn by the characters fit the set of the play. The outfits the performers were wearing came straight from the ‘20s. It was a great addition to the play because it indicated what time period this play was from. Another reason the costumes worked very well was because it did not interfere with what the actors had to do on stage. The actors were dancing around stage, so it was important that their clothes did not get in their way.
The actors in Singin in the Rain were absolutely phenomenal. This play asked for a lot out of them, and they delivered. Everyone on stage was not just a good actor, but very talented singers as well. They hit every note, from high to low. Everything was in pitch and there was never a moment when something sounded off. When the rain started to fall, it did not affect the actors while they sang. It could have been a distraction for them, but they continued flawlessly.
This play is definitely worth attending. It was an amazing performance put on by great actors. Singin in the Rain is appropriate for everyone and is very action packed. If you have seen the movie or not, you will not be disappointed with this play. It get two thumbs up and hopefully everyone gets the chance to see this remarkable play!
Let me start by saying that Singin in the Rain is a must see play based on reviews from other members of the audience that attended the play. The play was a remake of the 1920 musical comedy that was a big hit in hollywood during that time period.
Most people say that plays can't be translated into movies as they say books shouldn't be translated to movies because too much of the material is left out. Well the Duluth Playhouse put on a fantastic production with this play because it really re-enforced the points of the movie. The actors were extremely talented the way they portrayed their characters in not only the acting but also the musical part as well. The Character of Don Lockwood was seen as a fan favorite due to his charisma and charm he displayed throughout the play. This was a real positive sign since he represented this role great, which was originally played by Gene Kelly. Kathy and Lina were also fan favorites not only because of their beauty and acting, but also because of their beautiful voices they represented when singing their duet on stage.
Also the wardrobe of the characters was right on target. This was a huge part for most people in understanding the play especially for those who really never followed the musical comedy. The wardrobe kind of gave them a background or a hint of the time frame of when the play took place. It really help reinforce the scene setting and made even more powerful connection to the production of the original movie from the 1920s.
Even though the play was well acted out and funny the musical was probably the most impressive part of the play. The actors and actresses voice was well trained with sound and intensity when singing the songs lyrics. The song Good Morning was liked by most at the play, I myself enjoyed that song well.
Honestly the play was a well rounded the play the actors and actresses carried out their roles extremely well and brought the original characters brought to life in this production. For those critics who feel that movies shouldn't be turned into plays, they should go to the Duluth Playhouse to view Singin in the Rain because this play was successful in the job of portraying the movie. The rate gets a little over about a 9.5 out of 10 and is a recommended must see.
Singin' in the Rain Review
By: Courtney Johnson
The Duluth Playhouse put on a great production of Singin' in the Rain. This classic movie has been a hit, so trying to live up to the movie could be hard to do. However, the director, Tom Woldt, made this production unforgettable by his choices in design for the play and his casting skills.
The scenic design of the production of Singin' in the Rain was done by Curtis Phillips. One thing that the audience really loved was that they had actual rain. This rain wasn't just a sprinkle either, it poured. Since this was the case, they had to clean off the stage. Even with little space, Phillips was able to work with what he got.
Jean Olson was the costume designer of this production. The costume designs were from 1920's. The costumes of the characters were able to fit the characters well. The flapper look was shown throughout the performance, the actors were jumping and getting into the dancing which would then show off the costumes.
The actors were great as well! Dustin Hagen was Don Lockwood in the play. Hagen did an amazing job with his singing. He was able to hit all the notes he needed to. Alli Litrell Finstrom sang very beautifully as well. Finstrom played Kathy Seldon in the production. Amber Burns who was Lina Lamont, was able to make the audience laugh with her squeaky voice and her childish ways.
The one thing that seemed to be a problem was the rain sounds affects that would at times drain out the actors' voices. This would then be hard for the actors to be heard from the audience. Other than that little problem, there were no other issues that occurred throughout the play!
This play is a must see if you love musicals. With some laughter here and there, you will be sure to enjoy yourself! Bring the family, this production can be for all ages!
The Duluth Playhouse’s performance of Singin’ In The Rain was an enormous hit. The show was sold out every performance day, and people waiting on the Rush List just hoping to get in to see this phenomenon. Directed by, Tom Woldt, this version of the original storyline was fantastic. From the actors, to the costumes, to stage design, lighting, and special effects, this production will definitely be remembered. This classic musical had fun twists from the original storyline, but stayed true to the main points.
The actors/actresses of this production stole the show! With a lot of competition (pouring rain onstage, wonderful costumes, and amazing sets) the performers made their mark more than memorable. Each and every performer had a wonderful voice that never was off key. Dustin Hagen (Don Lockwood) was spectacular. This man should be on Broadway. His voice and his portrayal of Don was so spot on, the audience forgot they were watching a theatrical performance. His voice was extraordinary almost outshining everyone else’s. Kathy Seldon, played by Alli Litrell Findstrom, was also a sight to see and hear! Her beautiful voice complimented Hagen’s when they sang harmoniously. Findstrom played Kathy to a tee. Her gorgeous voice, dance moves, and acting talent made her a triple threat. The comedic relief of this production, Lena Lamont, played by Amber Burns was flawless. Her timing and reactions were more than funny as well as ideally timed. She never missed a beat! The actors of the play did a phenomenal job, shining through all of the amazing scenery.
Set in the twenties, the scenery and costume fit in remarkably well. The audience felt as if they were in a time machine going back to experience this interesting story. The onstage rain was shocking to the entire audience, but especially those in the first few rows. It was gutsy to have the stage wet because it could have been dangerous. Actors could have easily slipped, and it must have taken many hours of carful practice. The risk paid off, with no injuries, and the rain was an insane hit! This unexpected twist made this production monumentally more memorable. The costumes for this play were functional as well as complimentary to the time period. Gangster and flapper inspired costumes took the audience back in time to a wonderful period.
The only part of this play that was under par was the sound. At times it was very difficult to hear the actors singing or speaking their lines, especially when it was raining onstage. Otherwise this piece of art was almost magical. Woldt took a large burden under his wing trying to make this well-known story his own, and it succeeded. The audience loved every part of this play, and there was a standing ovation when the final scene ended. Every aspect of theatre was brought together to make this production as wonderful as it was. With only a few showings left, this is definitely one to try and see! It was a memorable and fun experience for the whole family to enjoy.
Singin' in the Rain
The Duluth Playhouse did an exceptional job on their creation of Singin' in the Rain. The Duluth Playhouse did a great job at making this classical movie into an excellent play on stage. This play was a hit just like the movie version of it was. Some of the audience was even splashed with an unexpected surprise during the play sending them home different then when they came.
What made the play even more believable for the audience is that it actually rained on stage. The stage was even set up so that it could collect the water and then the actors could splash and kick in it towards the audience so that the audience would even get a little wet. When plays interact with the audience it makes them even better because then it makes the play more realistic and convincing for the audience if they are getting involved in it and not just sitting and watching everything happen on stage. The sound effects of the rain were sometimes too loud where the actors were hard to hear because the rain drowned out their voices. It would get very distracting for the audience at times because they weren't able to tell what was being said on stage at times. Overall it was a cool and different effect that happened on stage during the play.
The audience was able to tell that the characters were wearing flapper costumes which was during the 1920's era when the classical movie of Singin' in the Rain came out. The costumes helped tell the setting of the play of when it took place for the audience if they had never seen the classical movie prior before going to see the play. The actors did a great job at their singing parts. They really got into their characters personality with the different voices they used when they sang their songs and would hit all of their notes. Lina Lament (Amber Burns) sang "What's Wrong with Me?" in a piercing, squeaky voice which had the audience filled with laughter.
The choreographer did a great job at all the different dances. They did a great job at incorporating the puddles of the rain into the dancing. The play had a wide variety of different styles of dancing including tap dancing.
The set design for the play was very good with the small amount of space that there was to work with. The scenic designer Curtis Phillips was still able to make a great set design with what he had to work with. There were a lot of changes happening on stage with the scenery throughout the entire play. The scene changes were fast and there always seemed to be something new on stage which helped never make the scenery boring.
Overall Singin' in the Rain is a must see for all different types of audiences. The Duluth Playhouse takes the classical movie and makes it a little more modern with today's technology. The special effects in this play even make the play more exciting for the audience and makes it even better since the actors interacted with the audience during the play with the rain.
Singin in the Rain was a glorious hit, at Duluth’s Playhouse theatre. The production was directed by Tom Woldt, who casted Dustin Hagen as Don Lockwood and Ali Littrell Finstrom as Kathy Seldon. The director could not have chosen two better actors for these parts. The play over all was a splashing hit within the audience, especially for the first couple rows who actually got splashed in the most famous song in which the production is names after.
The whole theatre came to be sued through out the production. There were actors off the side of the stage, in the far rows, and especially used when Finstrom’s character ran off stage and down a side isle. The musical number Singin in the Rain is most famous for the movie scene where the actor sings and dances… in the rain. It was quite shocking for the first couple rows when it did start raining on stage and were actually splashed by the actor’s enthusiasm. Being in the first row myself, I was surprised when I was actually splashed, many times with a fair amount of water! They used so many different ideas to get the play into the audience and this one technique of splashing the audience got everyone’s attention, no doubt about that.
During intermission, the crew was busy at work drying the stage from the downpour during the famous musical number. As the audience slowly exited the theatre toward The Playhouse’s lobby, where no one could stop their constant chatter. Having the stage actually have water falling as if it were rain was an ongoing discussion throughout the intermission and after the production.
Such a creative play, in that it involves the actors in an actual video movie that plays as part of the production. I must say it is a first for me to see a movie inside of a play. At first the thought of having a video during a play is outrageous but once it is shown a few times, it becomes quite humorous and the thought about it becomes a little better. The director and everyone behind this clever idea made this play be possible. Without incorporating this, the theatre production could not have been anything near the actual movie and or had a successful play turn out.
Singin in the Rain consists of not only singing but dancing too. As well as formal ballroom style the tap dancing was a hit with the audience. Much of the tap dancing was not as well performed as other scenes in the play but was adequate enough. The whole cast, it seemed at some point was dancing out on the stage in all sorts of different styles. Ballet, ballroom, tap, and more styles of dance were performed on stage and each fairly well done.
Amber Burns is the shows choreographer but also plays one of the shows main characters as Lena Lamont. Her tiny figure and bright eyes are over powered by her loud, high-pitched voice. Burns was amazing actress choice for a part such as character Lena Lamont. Burns’ voice is nothing compared to how some people describe it as “fingernails down a chalkboard” but is quite hilariously unique. Her character poor pronunciation and speech can nearly drive the crowd insane, causing the audience to laugh from such amusement. During her singing performance “What's Wrong with Me?” she keeps her voice very steady and is able to sing a musical hit with such a different voice then most people know.
The flapper costumes, from the 1920 ‘s was designed by Jean Olson and was only one of the costume highlights for the show. The show consisted of many outrageous costumes that somehow fit the show very well. In one of the very first minutes a cowboy walks on stage in a fully attired outfit and fires off his guns (which are of course fake). Startling the audience and nearly knocking me right out of the theatres chair the costumes were nothing the audience was prepared for.
Curtis Phillips, was the set designer for Singin in the Rain and out did any expectations people had for this show. The scene was set up with large shifting panels and opening doors that let the play function at ease. The shifting panels and such big changes in the set up, or bringing in new items could sometimes be a slight distracting for the audience. But how else are people supposed to make this production be possible on stage without having lots of things be moved?
This production got uproar of applause and laughter, which also resulted in a standing ovation. For the people in the play and those who did other work, they all did a tremendous amount of work. Their time and effort shines through and makes Singin in the Rain such a glorious play to see for everyone at any age.
Another outstanding production done by the Duluth playhouse on Sunday December 16th 2012 at 7 pm. Rumor had it that it was going to rain on stage. How was this going to happen with the hours of set design and the never-ending outfit changes? Leave it to the Playhouse to make these fairy tales come alive on set. The director Tom Woldt did an absolutely amazing job at portraying everything that he did. I honestly cannot pin point one part of this that I did not like.
Right when people were sitting down the audience started to realize that there was an orchestra in the shadow at the tiptop of the set. The lighting that they put on them at the beginning of the show was very interesting and made them stick out a lot more. Once the show got started I barely even noticed they were up there but it was very intriguing to glace up there and see that they had not left.
Costume designer Jean Olson picked the most over the top dresses for the ladies being the fact that it was set for Hollywood, I really felt like that was great. There was not a flapper dress that was not glitz and glam, which is perfect for all the personalities of the actresses as well. Being the new superstar on the block and having to hold up to her high standards, Lina had the best wardrobe of all; her hairpieces and outfits completed her obnoxious voice. She had the crowd in stitches the whole night and never failed her part. Amber Burns playing the character of Lina really turned the whole play into real life, her voice being what she was known for. She never left the character and held her voice like the high-pitched know it all she was.
Rain? Yes rain on the stage. Personally I was informed of this before hand and had watched the Duluth Playhouse background story about how they made this happen and I was just ready at the edge of my seat to watch this come about. The main character Don just jumping around in the rain after giving a big smooch to his romantic lover Kathy. They chemistry they had right before the rain made his energy level that much better. Don never left his character and really made the audience feel like this was his first time dancing in the rain, not the fact that this would be the seventh night he had done this.
Don Cosmo and the voice teacher when they were doing their scene 10 made the audience just crack up. Having their tap shoes on and dancing on moving objects really was unbelievable. Facial expressions to there out fits with the argyle sweaters really just toped the scene off.
I wish I could have gone to see this play 2 more times and brought all my friends. Duluth Playhouse hats off to you, making it actually rain on stage. If you missed this one, you really missed out.
- Eric Gahr
What a wonderful performance. The Duluth Playhouse's Singing in the Rain was very well done. There were many impressive and note-worthy elements to the musical.
The scene design was put together with intelligence. Allowing the small orchestra to be seen gives an added touch to the music for the audience. The design of the stationary background was great. Its style fit both the indoor scenes and outdoor scenes. The mobile pieces were great as well. Anything from the street lamps at night, to the Victorian door and pillars that were used in the musicals "film productions". They all were necessary and they all fit their part. The puddles in the rainy scene were fantastic and fun. The interaction with the audience was an added bonus. Having TV screens come down from above was pretty smart, as long as they brought them down straight! The cinema sign was also a great piece to show the era of the play.
The lights and music were well designed and well done. All the mood lighting, the colors, the timings, everything, gave the musical feeling and life. It was a delight to watch. All the classic songs from the musical were in there. The orchestra, though small, was impressive. Coming from a musical background and playing violin for 10+ years, I will, say I was impressed.
The plot was right on line with every Singing in the Rain out there. Scene changes were smooth, transitions were great, no one forgot their lines, the plot progressed and made sense with all parts. The play did seem to end at the transition, in other words, it didn't make you think that there was more, you just thought it was done.
The costumes needed next to no improvements. A round of applause to the costume designer. They fit the era of the musical, and even the era of the films within the musical. The costumes were changed quickly when needed to be, no mistakes there. The rips and tears happened flawlessly.
Last on the list is the acting. The acting was superb. The lead role Don Lockwood was very convincing. He performed with a sense that he in fact was Don Lockwood, he was realistic. Lina Lamont was also impressive. Her singing with that high voice, and even talking as well, puts her right up there with Lockwood's performance. All the actors singing and dancing were right on tune and que for the most part. However, when Cosmo Brown sang, you usually could hardly hear him. That made for an irritating situation whenever you had to strain to listen to him.
Overall this play was wonderful. Only a few minor critiques mostly in mechanical not acting errors. I loved it and would suggest it to anyone. It was fun, enjoyable and kept you wanting more.
Singin’ in the Rain, put on at the Duluth Playhouse, is a theatrical adaption to the musical comedy film of the same name. The play is incredibly charming, funny, and certainly a spectacle to behold, all the while staying true to movie. The characters, set design, and special effects all work together to create a play which is well put together.
The set design is also well suited to this play. The scenery, designed to make use of the theatre’s proscenium design, is rigged in such a way to make changes fast and efficiently. There are also several hidden doors in the scenery for actors to enter and exit the stage from. The props are not elaborate, but do not need to be, for the audience’s attention is focused on the interaction unfolding between the characters on stage. All the while, the orchestra is ever present, visibly but not distractedly, through a window at the top of the back wall of the stage. The minimal, yet interesting set design helps to concentrate the audience’s gaze on where it should be: the characters.
The characters in Singin’ in the Rain are interesting and entertaining in their quirks, making them easily relatable and likeable to the audience. Who doesn’t have a friend like Cosmo or knows someone like Lina? They are easy to read and the audience becomes attached, or repelled in some instances, to them. The roles, themselves, could prove challenging or a misfire if the wrong actor is playing the part. Each actor onstage appears well suited to their role and are incredible in it.
The special effects used during the play are a central part in the production, providing moments of humour and creating awe throughout the experience. The audience is given a glimpse into the realm of silent films and witnesses the challenges of creating “talking pictures” for the first time, executed to make them laugh heartily. And what production would be Singin’ in the Rain would be complete without water? Rain pouring down on the stage is technically challenging and potentially hazardous for the actors, but they are able to, not only make it work, but make it work well. Some unsuspecting audience members are even seated in “splash zones”!
All in all, Singin’ in the Rain was an absolute joy to see. It is so wonderfully done, even in lieu of some mishaps with the wet stage. It is full of unforgettable characters, likeable scenery, and awe-inspiring special effects. I would definitely recommend this play to anyone, especially first time theatre-goers who are skeptical of seeing plays.
“Singing in the Rain” definitely made a splash at the Duluth Playhouse where it was performed. Tom Woldt was the director of this fabulous rendition of the 20s classic film, originally directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. It was a wonderful theatrical version. It was an experience itself, between the twirling skirts, singing and dancing, and the actual rain on stage. The various musical numbers did an excellent job of captivating and keeping the audience’s attention.
The performance did a great job of sticking to the original ideas of the film, yet putting a theatrical spin on the play. Woldt even made it rain on stage which is what really helped the audience connect with the scene; it just wouldn’t have been the same without real rain. Although the rain was an awesome effect and created an atmosphere most similar to the actual film, “Singing in the Rain,” it was very loud and made the actors often times hard to hear. The actors came to life and it’s really because of them that the performance had the impact that it did.
The costume design was impeccable. The costumes came right out of the 1920’s and were very interesting to look at. It was clear to the audience that we were in fact in the “flapper era.” It was a fun aspect to watch, and some outfits worn were absolutely gorgeous. It was yet another way that the audience was able to further connect with the actors and the performance overall. Being the major role of the dancing in this rendition of “Singing in the Rain,” the costumes were very well done because they never seemed to get in the way of the acting and dancing.
The scenic designer, Curtis Phillips did a fabulous job with the scene design in “Singing in the Rain.” The scene design at times could get a bit distracting with all of the moving parts. Stairs would move in the middle of the scene or panels would be moved. It is impressive, however, that they are able to have such elaborate sets with the limited back stage space that the Duluth Playhouse has. The scene design was yet another way the audience would connect with a play set in the 1920s.
Lena Lamont who was played by Amber Burns did a fabulous job creating an entertaining hilarious character. With an accent that was done to perfection, an amusingly annoying childish voice, and acting, it was hard to fall in love with the character Lena Lamont. The voices of the actors were another thing that really set this show apart. They all did a wonderful job, especially when Kathy Seldon, played by Alli Littrell Finstrom, sang “You Are My Lucky Star.” That performance was simply jaw-dropping. Don Lockwood, played by Dustin Hagen was also very convincing as he played the charming character.
Overall, “Singing in the Rain” performed at the Duluth Playhouse is a must see. It is fun for all ages, young and old. It also is an experience of a lifetime, not often does it actually rain onstage. Hats off to the Duluth Playhouse.
“Singing in the Rain” was a magnificent performance to watch “in the rain,” literally! Directed by Tom Woldt at the Duluth Playhouse, this production is credited with its 3D effects of raining on the audience and the onstage performances really getting those in the first couple rows! Originally created by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, this timeless film from the 1920s was well put together! I was happy with how they transformed it from the original ballet version simply to a musical version. However, the creation was anything but “simple”.
The main character Don Lockwook, portrayed by Dustin Hagen, did a superb job with his role. His beautiful voice and captivating charm carried throughout the theater well enough to not only capture my full attention, but keeping me well attuned to his love interest conflict with Lena Lamont and Kathy Selden. Lena was fabulously characterized by Amber Burns with her hysterical, yet very talented, portrayal of the character’s high screeching pitched and childlike voice. Nevertheless, it was Kathy Seldon, played by Ali Littrell, that captured the audience’s heart with her exceptional performance of “You Are My Lucky Star” when her talents are revealed to be her own, rather than credit given to Lena. I think it is safe to say that it was the best song of the night! The cast did such a good job with their roles that it was almost as though the play was written with them in mind!
Bringing the production to life, the costumes designed by Jean Olson really gave the setting the feeling of taking place in the 1920s. With the ladies in their flappers outfits and the gentlemen in their classic style, it really brought out the setting. To coincide with the costumes, the background and stage set up by Curtis Phillips was far from ordinary. The stage panels would change within the scene, which was sometimes distracting from what was going on, but a creative twist to bring out all the settings.
Within the scenes, the different choreography was fascinating! By incorporating the puddles and splashing water throughout the dance routines, it kept the audience on the edge of their seat, intrigued in every movement. Needless to say, if the first couple rows didn’t pay attention, they would be surprised with a big splash of water!
The special effects of the rain and constantly changing stage panels were very intriguing, but did at times take away from the production. On occasion, it was hard to hear the performers with all the water and rain effects. Now and then it was simply too distracting to follow what was going on in the story line with all the commotion. Overall though, it was a superb production! The different elements came together to make it different from all the other plays I attended, which really captivated my attention and interest. I would recommend this play to every one of all ages, even if they haven’t seen the original production. This play really interacted with the audience, creating a fun filled atmosphere for everyone to enjoy! Bravo!
The performance of Singing in the Rain was put on by the Duluth Playhouse. The scene design was great and really gave the audience that feel that this classic performance brings. Another strength of this performance was the wonderful job that Tom Woldt did with the casting. One impressive part of the performance was how easy the musical part of the production seemed to come to the actors and actresses. As far as the audience could tell not a single mistake was made with in regards to the dialogue of the performance. Probably the most memorable part of the performance was the actors and actresses dancing and singing in the rain on stage.
The main character in this performance of Singing in the Rain was Don Lockwood which was played by Dustin Hagen. No matter where you were sitting in the Duluth Playhouse, it was clear that this movie star who performs in romance films was beaming at the audience the entire time and really gave them a friendly feel. Don Lockwood’s partner on the big screen was Lena Lamont who was played by Amber Burns. Lena is somewhat delusional in the fact that she believes that Don Lockwood is madly in love with her. However, Don Lockwood is actually attracted to a woman he met on the street named Kathy Selden who was played by Ali Littrell Finstrom. When Lena finds out about Don’s true feelings she is not happy in the slightest. In the play, a new technology is developed that allows movie makers to add sound to their film productions. Unfortunately for pretty much every one, Lena Lamont’s voice is extremely shrill and whiney.
There are many attempts, and many failures in trying to make use of Lena Lamont’s real voice in the move productions. In the end none of them work. Don suggests that Kathy, who has a much more tolerable voice, should step in and play the voice of Lena Lamont in the films. Kathy does a wonderful job in the performance but everything goes up in flames when Lena learns that her real voice isn’t being used. However Lena still takes all the credit for the film and Kathy’s performance because she doesn’t want to have her reputation damaged, and she also doesn’t want people to think that she is a phony. Many celebrities today lip sync at their performances, and Lena Lamont was no exception. She starts to accept an award for the film and begins to sing with Kathy’s voice emanating throughout the theater. And like most celebrities today, she was caught red handed as the curtain rose and the audience was able to see that Kathy had been the one singing the entire time.
The costume design was very reminiscent of the 1920s and was matched perfectly by the scenery and stage design. This classic musical is definitely worth going to see. Singing in the Rain is friendly to all ages and has many elaborate special effects throughout the play. A great story line and special effects make this a performance that you do not want to miss.
Singing in the rain was originally a movie but the Duluth Playhouse transformed this classic into a musical. It was a popular movie back in the 1920’s and was brought back to life in present day. I would say they the production never had a point that was dull or boring it always seemed to keep me interested in everything.
We now start off with the scenes. The transition between scenes went very quickly which kept the playing going very well. There was always something new on stage, which kept the audience very into the play itself. The best part for me was the fact that it actually rained on stage! I have never seen something like that before in the theater, even though this is my first time actually going to the theater this often. The actors singing in the rain did have to raise their voices a little bit because the rain itself was very loud. I would say that this could be viewed as a distractor from the production itself because it left me in awe of the rain coming down.
The acting in the play I thought was done very well. Everyone seemed to step up the their role very well. I think that with how famous of a movie this was it put a kind of pressure on to the actors. With that kind of pressure on the shoulders of each actor they really stepped up to the task. I thought that each part had its ups and downs but in the end they did a great job. I would also say hats off to each of the performers who sang during the production they did an amazing job projecting their voices so the whole audience could hear.
These costumes were very 20’s like which fit the era of the performance. They were very functional for each actor to move and dance around the stage with out hindering their movements. I would say they were crafted very well for that aspect. Each costume really did fit the characters and were done very well.
This play did live up to the expectations set by the movie and is worth a see. I did enjoy all aspects of the production (especially the rain) and say it’s worth the watch. From transitions on stage to scenery it was all done very well
Singin’ in the Rain Review
With what is arguably the highlight of 2012 theatre in the Duluth area, The Duluth Playhouse blew the audience away with their production of Singin’ in the Rain. Totally selling out nearly every performance, this much beloved show is clearly not past its time. Every aspect of the show came together wonderfully and it was no surprise that it was so popular.
With lively music and dance numbers and energetic acting, this show captivated the entire audience. The choreography was distinctly peppy 20’s style dance with lots of tap and rhythm. The best example of this was during the songs “Good mornin’” and “Moses supposes”. The tap dancing was less of a focus in this performance than in the movie, this most likely due to the fact that the main focus was put on the vocal performance which was executed very well.
The most memorable singer of the evening is (to be expected), Ali Litterell Findstrom as Kathy Seldon. Her clear, warm voice was perfect for the role and blew the audience away in her performance of “You Are My Lucky Star”. When paired with Dustin Hagen as Don Lockwood, the two put on a phenomenal show full of talent. Not to be forgotten are the dancers in the show, Dance Captain Paige Kohler and Emily Braff. Playing multiple roles, the whole ensemble created a wonderful 20’s environment with lively dance numbers and bubbly songs.
The acting award of the night definitely goes to Amber Burns as Lena Lamont. It would be tough to pull off this role with any less talent than Burns. It is a challenging role and Burns pulled it off wonderfully. Her high, nasally voice being the benchmark of her character had the audience filling the theater with peals of laughter. Unlike the film, she got her own song in this show called “What’s Wrong With Me”. She was required to sing the whole song in her character voice and make it sound repulsive while actually staying in key, not an easy feat. She executed this wonderfully and the number really added to her character.
Originally a movie musical, the show called for numerous set and scene changes, which would be difficult to do well on a stage, but the designer made do with versatile set pieces that were used for many different things. This made it a little difficult to follow where they were but with the added props and costumes it wasn’t difficult to figure out what was going on.
Taking place in glamorous 20’s Hollywood, the costumes were all about glitz and shine. With fur, tassels, and sequins, the era was brought to life and each costume helped identify each character’s position very well. The costume changes were extensive, especially for the ensemble, and it was a wonder they all made their entrances in time.
Not to be forgotten is the downright amazing visual effects. The show’s main selling point was the fact that they had real rain on stage during the beloved scene in which Don Lockwood sings “Singin’ in the Rain” at the end of the first act. Water ran through tubing in the rafters above the stage and rained down onto it. There were also two indentations in the stage that were filled with water to serve as puddles. It brought technical effects to a whole new level in stage production and definitely added to the performance. The only downfall to this was the element of danger to the actors. Dustin Hagen slipped multiple times during his number, which is understandable since he is expected to tap dance on a wet, slippery surface. During the intermission, volunteers did their best to dry the stage as best as possible, but the cast still had a difficult time staying on their feet. In spite of this, they all performed exceptionally well even on a slippery surface and the audience got a huge kick out of the whole thing. During his song, Hagen splashes around in the puddles and shakes his umbrella off at the audience and those sitting in the first few rows were expected to get splashed.
The closing number summed up the whole show very well with the whole cast in raincoats and umbrellas dancing and singing the title song “Singin’ in the Rain” and left the audience ready to get up and dance with them! To sum it all up, it was an extremely high-energy performance for the whole family and it is no wonder it was sell-out!
This page contains a single entry by Mark Harvey published on November 30, 2012 12:38 PM.
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