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Singin’ in the Rain

a Musical Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY MUSICAL
by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (book) and Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed (songs)

COMPANY : Atlanta Lyric Theatre
VENUE : Jennie T. Anderson Theatre-Cobb Civic Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 5485

SHOWING : April 12, 2019 - April 28, 2019

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” is faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning screenplay in "Singin’ in the Rain". Each unforgettable scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show-stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Hilarious situations, snappy dialogue and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make "Singin’ in the Rain" the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals. "Singin’ in the Rain" has all the makings of a Tinseltown tabloid headline – the starlet, the leading man and a love affair that could change lives and make or break careers! In silent movies, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a hot item but, behind the scenes, things aren’t always as they appear on the big screen! Meanwhile, Lina’s squeaky voice might be the end of her career in “talking pictures” without the help of a talented young actress to do the talking and singing for her.

"Singin’ in the Rain" is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Mary Nye Bennett
Rita Dexter Christy Baggett
Sid/Ensemble Jared Brodie
Vocal Coach/Ensemble Aaron Carter
Dora Bailey Kayce Grogan-Wallace
Mrs. Simpson/Ms. Dinsmore/Ensemble Kara Noel Harrington
Ensemble Jenna Jackson
Rod/Tenor/Ensemble Matthew Sidney Morris
Ensemble Elizabeth Neidel
Cosmo Brown J. Koby Parker
Ensemble Becky Simmons
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REVIEWS

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Lucky Star
by playgoer
Monday, May 20, 2019
4.5
"Singin’ in the Rain" is considered by some to be the quintessential MGM movie musical. In Atlanta Lyric’s production of the stage adaptation, the strengths of the story and score come through loud and clear. Lee Shiver-Cerone’s scenic design is more functional than attractive, and George Deavours’ wigs and Amanda Edgerton West’s costumes aim more for period accuracy than for inherent beauty, but Mary Nye Bennett’s direction, Jennifer Smiles Plumley’s choreography, and Paul Tate’s music direction make sure that the cast are shown off to great advantage.

Mike Sal’s sound design is the most problematic technical element in the show. The live orchestra is loud, especially when brass is playing, and the initial sequence featuring Kayce Grogan-Wallace as a gossip columnist has her dialogue nearly drowned out by the music playing under it. Thereafter, sound levels seem more appropriate, with singing voices blending well with the orchestra.

The major roles are all filled well. Beth Beyer is a terrific Lina Lamont, marrying a grating voice with bleached blonde ditziness in a winning fashion. J Koby Parker lends lots of comedic flair to his role as Cosmo Brown, although the choreography for his big number, "Make ’Em Laugh," doesn’t hold a candle to the dance done by Donald O’Connor in the movie. Leigh Ellen Jones does a bang-up job as Kathy Seldon, although her wig and costumes make her look unnecessarily nondescript. Jeremy Benton’s extremely white teeth make him stand out as much as his acting, dancing, and singing, which are unsurpassed, although the rain and choreography for the title number don’t hold a candle to the movie version featuring Gene Kelly.

That’s not to say that the whole production is a pale imitation of the movie. Bit players Christy Baggett, as a movie director, and Kara Noel Harrington, in a variety of roles, do wonderful character work. Aaron Carter’s tap-dancing skills spark what is probably the most spectacular number in the show ("Moses Supposes"), and add a lot to an act two fantasy sequence. Messrs. Parker and Benton and Ms. Jones perform "Good Morning" in a fashion that pays tribute to the movie without slavishly reproducing it. The apparent high spirits of the ensemble make the show a joy to watch.

Ms. Bennett has put together a production that makes fine use of a lot of talent new to Atlanta, while still featuring many familiar faces. Is there too much of an effort in the staging to evoke memories of the movie? Perhaps. But the unique talents of the cast make many moments theirs alone. Mr. Benton in particular is the "lucky star" whose performance makes the production rise above the level of mere competence to something far more impressive and enjoyable.
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