Marriott’s SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is a Storm of Talent!
Reviewed by: Robert Sphatt
“I’m dancing and singing in the rain.” The Marriott Theatre presents a charming trip through the Hollywood golden era of the 1920s, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is filled with every memorable moment from the film and a downpour of unforgettable songs. All the romance, glitz and glamour of the roaring 20s are poured into this – one of the most beloved and celebrated musicals of all time. Featuring a glorious score by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed, and book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is the light-hearted spoof of frantic Hollywood as the advent of sound revolutionizes the movie industry. Joined by four-time Jeff Award winning Choreographer Tammy Mader (42nd Street and My One and Only at The Marriott Theatre) and Musical Director Ryan T. Nelson, Director William Brown bring the iconic musical’s high power, toe-tapping energy to life on stage in this splashy adaptation of the beloved Oscar-winning MGM film. This production is better than the film in that it gives life to a very flimsy story through the incredible performances of a highly talented company and is a loving homage to the early days of Hollywood.
Marriott Theatre pulled out all of the stops and bumped itself up with great direction, perfect casting, luscious costumes and Broadway performances by the entire company. It’s 1927 and movie icons Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are the darlings of the silent silver screen and the biggest stars at Monumental Studios. But with the arrival of motion-picture sound, the studio has no choice but to turn their latest Lockwood and Lamont silent film, The Dueling Cavalier, into a musical. The only problem for Monumental Studios: Lina’s disastrously grating voice. Chaos ensues as the studio brings in the beautiful Kathy Selden, whose silvery voice is able to cover Lamont’s, sparking a romance between the aspiring actress and the star Lockwood. These scenes are very well executed and of Broadway quality. Audiences will be showered with favorite numbers including “Good Mornin’,” “Moses Supposes,” “Make ‘Em Laugh” and, of course, the show-stopping title number, “Singin’ in the Rain.”
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN stars Danny Gardner as “Don Lockwood” (Broadway: Dames at Sea; National Tours: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and 42nd Street) and possesses the Fred Astaire style of dancing, cool and smoothness. He can tap away an entire number and never hyperventilates! Mary Michael Patterson is “Kathy Seldon” (Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, Anything Goes; Carnegie Hall: The Sound of Music), and has taken a two-dimensionally written role and created a full-flushed young eyed innocent. She is superb and so easy on the eyes, Richard Riaz Yoder as “Cosmo Brown” (Broadway: Shuffle Along, On the Twentieth Century, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas), takes a very dated role and brings it up to date and never goes over the top! Alexandra Palkovic as “Lina Lamont” (How to Succeed…, Anything Goes, Cats at The Marriott Theatre), brings the house down each and every time she is on stage and proves that the good guy can finish first. With each of her scenes her voice becomes louder and more grating; hysterical. Again – she never goes over the top and even when she knows she has her audience in her hands refuses to play slapstick. At the curtain call the house went wild when Ms. Palkovic took her bow. Also starring in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN are Jason Grimm, Gabriel Ruiz, Lamont Brown, Annie Jo Ermel, Jackson Evans, Sean Michael Hunt, Danielle Jackman, Ian Liberto, Mandy Modic, Thomas Ortiz, Katheryn Patton, Collin Sanderson, Catherine Smitko, Brandon Springman, Richard Strimer, Amanda Tanguay and Jessica Wolfrum. This loving homage to the early days of Hollywood is the definition of happy. Great songs, hilarious situations, delightful characters, friendship, romance, and lots of tap dancing! What is happier than that?
William Brown is the director and exceeds in his role. In lesser hands this musical comedy could deliver two-hours of yawns and watch watching. You either hit it or miss it and Brown hits it out of the ballpark. Not only does he control the weather (many gallons of rain water), but has taken on the challenge of giving life to a flimsy musical where, in lesser hands would be a giant bomb. Together with choreographer Tammy Mader the team has created a piece of Broadway in Lincolnshire.
The production features set designs by Tom Ryan, costume design by Nancy Missimi, lighting design by Jesse Klug, sound design by Bob Gilmartin, properties design by Sally Weiss, and musical supervision and orchestra conducted by Patti Garwood.
The performance schedule for SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with select Thursday 1:00 p.m. shows. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, plays through December 31 and what could make a better Christmas gift?
Ticket prices range from $50 to $55, including tax and handling fees. Call for student and senior discounts. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, there are a limited number of dinner and theatre packages available, which can only be purchased through the Marriott Theatre Box Office. To make restaurant reservations please call 847.634.0100. Free parking and valet are available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or go to www.ticketmaster.com. Or visit www.MarriottTheatre.com for more information.