Thursday, December 27, 2012

REVIEW: Singin' In The Rain (London)

Palace Theatre (London), Friday December 21

On to the 4th of my 14 shows in 13 days marathon. Singin' in the Rain, the musical is an adaptation from the 1952 movie of the same name. With a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by Arthur Freed, and music by Nacio Herb Brown, the story is about the waning days of the silent screen era. It focuses on romantic lead Don Lockwood, his sidekick Cosmo Brown, aspiring actress Kathy Selden, and Lockwood's leading lady Lina Lamont, whose squeaky shrill voice is a disaster-in-waiting for talking pictures.

Interestingly, the first adaptation was actually directed by no other than the star of Scrooge Tommy Steele and choreographed by Peter Gennaro. It opened on June 30, 1983 at the London Palladium. The only time I saw it on stage was when an Australian production directed by David Atkin came to Hong Kong and performed at the Academy of Performing Arts - Lyric Theatre. I remember liking it... there is something about technical wonders on stage e.g. flying (in Peter Pan) or falling chandelier (in Phantom of the Opera) or landing helicopter (in Miss Saigon) that makes a musical memorable... In the case of Singin's in the Rain it is the rain!

This version, directed by Jonathan Church and choreographed by Andrew Wright, boasts a really polished production and very good leads. Adam Cooper (created The Swan of Adventure in Motion Pictures' Swan Lake), playing Don Lockwood, was not only a great dancer, but his singing was actually not bad at all! He was the perfect musical romantic lead. Playing his best friend, Cosmo Brown was Daniel Crossley. He was engaging and funny... though I have to say that I was disappointed that he didn't do the signature run-up-wall backflip in the number Make 'Em Laugh. Scarlett Strallen was feisty yet elegant Kathy Selden. Katherine Kingsley made the most of the role Lina Lamont and was hilarious. 

The rain sequence was an absolute thrill with every splish and splash onto the audience drew laughter from the dry ones. It was then repeated at the end with the whole cast. Choreography-wise, it was classic Hollywood... pretty but standard. Overall, it was very good entertainment.
Singin' In The Rain
Preview from 04 Feb 2012
Opened on 15 Feb 2012
Palace Theatre
Creative Team: 
Composer/Lyricist - Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed
Director - Jonathan Church
Choreographer - Andrew Wright
Designer - Simon Higlett
Lighting Designer - Tim Mitchell
Sound Designer - Matt McKenzie
Musical Director and Supervisor - Robert Scott
Video Designer - Ian William Galloway
Orchestrations - Larry Wilcox
Orchestrations - Larry Blank
Producer - Stage Entertainment
Producer - Chichester Festival Theatre
Cast includes:
Don Lockwood - Adam Cooper
Cosmo Brown - Daniel Crossley
Kathy Selden - Scarlett Strallen
Lina Lamont - Katherine Kingsley
R F Simpson - Robert Powell
Dora Bailey/Miss Dinsmore - Sandra Dickinson
Roscoe Dexter - Peter Forbes
Production Tenor/Dialect Coach - David Lucas
Olga Mara/Broadway Ballet Girl - Kelly Ewins-Prouse
Rod - Brendan Cull
Zelda Zanders - Nancy Wei George
Ensemble/Sid Phillips - David Birch
Swing - Danielle Crockford
Swing - Matthew Croke
Ensemble/Production Secretary - Jennifer Davison
Ensemble/Mary Margaret - Flora Dawson
Assistant Dance Captain/Ensemble - Jaye Juliette Elster
Ensemble/Policeman - Luke Fetherston
Dance Supervisor/Assistant Choreographer - Gemma Fuller
Ensemble/Workman - Francis Haugen
Swing - Daniel Ioannou
Ensemble/Coffee Vendor - Peter Le Brun
Ensemble/Make-up Artist - Charlie Martin
Ensemble/Clyde - Scott Mobley
Ensemble/Stripper - Gillian Parkhouse
Ensemble/Lady In Waiting - Sherrie Pennington
Ensemble/Flirty Girl - Lisa Ritchie
Ensemble/Sam - Jack Wilcox
Young Don - Jamie Kaye
Young Cosmo - Tommy Keeling
Young Cosmo - Alex Larder
Young Don - Richard Linnell
Young Cosmo - Jack Firman Pope
Young Don - Callum Wilsher

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