So I am extremely excited to be writing this review. I grew up with Singing in the Rain, it was one of my all time favourite movies. It is one of those feel better movies, you know, the one you choose when you feeling down to help cheer you up. I found out this production was coming to SA over a year ago and could not control my excitement! It was always a life’s goal for me to see this on stage so you can imagine how high my expectations were.
As I walked down to the Teatro at Montecasio the hallway was decorated with many umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, the ushers were wearing yellow raincoats and the weather was almost obliging to the theme of the evening- rain. It was such a wonderful way to build the excitement before the show started. We found our seats and waited for the show to begin. The lights went off and the orchestra began to play the overture. I heard them start to play the infamous song ‘Singin’ in the rain’ and all my memories of the wonderful film came flooding back.
From the first moment that the company steps onto stage you get this feeling that this show is high energy! The stage is set up like a movie studio and there is a hollywood sign in the background. You are automatically placed in the 1920’s in the golden ages of hollywood. It is most glamorous. The show opens the same way as the movie, which I think was a very good choice. The show feels like the movie, you feel like you are in the movie. This is something I loved. The stage production did not feel like it was trying to out do the movie, rather it kept the essence of the movie and brought it to life.
The night we went to the show Duane Alexander played the lead as Don Lockwood. I am a fan of Grant Almirall and would have loved to have seen him play the part but nonetheless Duane did a great job of bringing Don and his over the top personality to life. After all stepping into the shoes of Gene Kelly is no easy task. The chemistry between Don and Cosmo Brown , his loyal sidekick, is a very important part of the story. Steven Van Wyk, who played Cosmo was fantastic! I enjoyed his performance so much and his duet with Duane, Moses Supposes was brilliant! They really worked so well on stage together.
The female leads were also nothing short of brilliant. Taryn-Lee Hudson played the annoying and excitable role of Lina Lamont so well! She got her voice down to a T and you could see that she enjoyed playing this character. She also got to wear some of the most beautiful costumes. Everything she wore was so glamours. I have watched Bethany Dickson in many different roles and I have never been disappointed. She has a way of bringing such grace and poise to the stage. She reminded me of when Debbie Reynolds played Kathy Selden in the movie and I adored it.
As wonderful as the leads were, the company was wonderful in there own right. They brought such energy to the stage and created the atmosphere. I especially enjoyed James Borthwick’s performance as R F Simpson, the producer of the company. He was funny when he needed to be and stern when the character called for it.
I have to talk about the famous scene when Don Lockwood sings and dances in the rain. OH MY GOSH. I have never seen anything like this on stage before. It was genius and magic all rolled into one. At the end of act one Don drops Kathy home after a long and exciting night. He then walks home and it begins to rain. He is in such a good mood that he bursts into ‘Singin’ in the rain’ and it begins to rain-on stage- with real water. I heard the thunder and I knew it was about to happen but I did not expect it be so beautiful. The rain started on stage and I was overtaken by this wonderful feeling of excitement and amazement. This experience can only be described as theater magic! Seeing one of the most famous, beautiful and enjoyable scenes recreated on stage was truly a dream come true.
There are so many elements to this production that make it such a treat to witness. The costumes are beautiful, the prop work is done so well and the technical side of things is so smooth. This production really showed off South African talent. We are a talented nation and anyone who thinks differently knows nothing! There were so many moments in the show that I enjoyed, I would list them all but then you would be reading for a very long time, so instead I will INSIST that you go and treat yourself to this show. Productions like these are what make me want to do what I do and reach my goal. The way I felt while watching this fantastic production is the way I want to make people feel one day.
The show closes on the 13th of March and bookings can be made through computicket. Trust me, you do not want to miss this one!!!