Singin’ in the Rain.

Singin’ in the Rain.
(Based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film). Screenplay by Comden and Green. Songs by Brown and Freed. The Production Company Director: Gary Young. Musical Director: John Foreman. Costume Designer: Kim Bishop. State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne. Aug 21 – 25, 2013.

Melbourne has a healthy appetite for old time musicals. In a jammed packed State Theatre punters were all after the same thing - a night of quality entertainment and, for some, a chance to reminisce. Singin’ in the Rain tickets sales have been so good an extra show is scheduled.

In a populist move, impressive dance choreography borrows heavily from the film. And why not?  Some moves are downright iconic: Rohan Browne (Don Lockwood) splashes in puddles, there’s the couch walkover in Good Morning, and comic antics in Make Em Laugh.

Evidently not all patrons were familiar with the film. In Make ‘Em Laugh Matt Lee (Cosmo Brown) stops short of a wall-climbing somersault, to test the stability of the wall instead. Less than half the audience got the joke.

Dance numbers were varied, and wonderfully wrought, particularly those featuring the two leading lads.  Complementary trio Browne, Lee and Alinta Chidzey (Kathy Selden) recollect the original film cast quite wonderfully. But Christie Whelan-Browne (Lina Lamont) sparkles brightest, receiving a resounding ovation after What’s Wrong With Me?

Costumes feature dropped waistlines, checked vests, gangster hats and feathers galore. John Foreman’s proficient music ensemble remains on stage for the show, alongside the ever-present set.

If your musical taste is of the older vein, you’ll certainly love this production.

Lucy Graham

Images: (top) Rohan Browne, Alinta Chidzey and Matt Lee & (lower) Christie Whelan-Browne and Rohan Browne. Photographer: Jeff Busby.

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