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All in all, 'Singin' in the Rain' is a decent musical that will keep the family entertained and enthused for the most part. Sometimes there's nothing better than some wet fun.

Theatre Review (Singapore): ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

Base Entertainment’s latest offering, Singin’ in the Rain, will run at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre from 9th July to 2nd August 2015.

Singin' In The Rain dress rehearsal, St James Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand on Tuesday, 14 April 2015. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.
Singin’ In The Rain . Credit: Hagen Hopkins.

Adapted from the 1952 movie of the same name starring Gene Kelly, this musical first debuted in 1983 at the West End and transfered to Broadway in 1985.

Singin’ in the Rain tells the story of Hollywood moving into the age of the ‘talkies’ where stars of silent movies found themselves having to adjust to the new technology. Don Lockwood (Duane Alexander) is one such silent movie star, who is caught up in this new era and to make things more complicated his usual leading lady Lina Lamont (Taryn-Lee Hudson) is in one-sided love with Don, but he is falling for starlet Kathy (Bethany Dickson) whose beautiful singing and speaking voice is to be used to dub Lina’s performance. Aided by his best friend Cosmo (Steven Van Wyk), Don and Kathy find their way through the tricky mechanism of Hollywood and the arrival of the ‘talkies’.

Don Lockwood, Kathy and  Cosmo . Credit: Hagen Hopkins.
Don Lockwood, Kathy and Cosmo . Credit: Hagen Hopkins.

This musical starts off rather ploddingly and takes some time to find its stride, but about the middle of Act 1, the production picks up with really humourous moments, lovely songs, and enticing dance numbers. By the time Don splashes water into the audience just before intermission, Singin’ in the Rain hits its note, and continues on the same level right to the end.

Don splashing rainwater into the audience. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.
Don splashing rainwater into the audience. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.

Although, one peculiar thing this critic found was that despite having a good singing voice and being an able dancer, physically Alexander hardly looks like the big movie star that he is suppose to be. Don Lockwood is portrayed as someone who makes women’s heart’s flutter and who makes every girl on the planet want to have his babies. In the era of silent movies, this would have been the role of stars such as Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino – who were very much heart-throbs of their day.

Much like today, famous male stars have always tended to be tall, handsome, and with good bone structure as seen in this era’s heart-throbs Channing Tatum and Chris Hemsworth. However, Alexander is not tall, and whilst pleasant looking, he doesn’t possess the looks that can send women swooning. Hence that part of the story isn’t particularly convincing that Alexander’s Don is the hottest Hollywood property of that era.

On the other hand, Alexander looks similar to Gene Kelly, who took on the role of Don Lockwood in the movie, so perhaps the musical was trying to match its Lockwood character with one that looked like Kelly. If that’s the case, then it did succeed indeed.

The singing and dancing in this musical are superb, especially the crystal clear vocals of Dickson’s. However, Van Wyk easily steals the show with Cosmo’s antics, funny expressions and musical ability.

All in all, Singin’ in the Rain is a decent musical that will keep the family entertained and enthused for the most part. Sometimes there’s nothing better than some wet fun.

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.

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