There is always gamble in producing a stage show from a well known musical movie. Many times it doesn't interpret well onto the stage. Some of this is true with Marriott Lincolnshire's production of the infamous musical "Singing in the Rain". Even though, the book by Betty Comden, Adolph Green has a rather weak story about the film industry going from silent to talkies, the amazing score by Nacio Herb Brown, and lyrics by Arthur Freed make this one enjoyable show. Combine the music under the wonderful music direction of Ryan T. Nelson, with the amazing choreography by four time Jeff award winner, Tammy Mader, with a fabulous cast of singers and dancers which transforms this weak story into a beautiful musical theatre experience. It goes to show you that even with a weak story, an excellent cast, talented music direction and choreography can make a show great. Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre once again aims to please.
The story opens at a Hollywood premier in 1927 for a movie with beloved silent screen stars, Don Lockwood, (played by Danny Gardner), and Lina Lamont, (played by Alexandra Palkovic). Being the favorites at Monumental Studios, these actors had a very bright future. That is, until the popularity of the talking picture was introduced. Don Lockwood still has star quality and can hold his own with acting and speaking his part. However, his acting partner Lina Lamont, is terrible. According to the press, Don and Lina are a romantic item, and Lina believes it. However, Don does not feel the same way about Lina. Don then meets dancer, and aspiring actress, Kathy Selden, (played by Mary Michael Patterson); at a premier party and is smitten. They reconnect when Kathy lands an audition at Monumental Studios and proves to be a better actress than Lina Lamont, not to mention a better real life love interest for Don Lockwood. Therefore, the story becomes quite predictable.
The good news is the music and dancing is this show's saving grace. With songs like "Good Mornin", Moses Supposes", "Make Em Laugh", "Fit as a Fiddle", "You Are my Lucky Star", and of course "Singing in the Rain"; you can't miss. The wonderfully talented cast which included leads Danny Gardner, Mary Michael Patterson, Alexandra Palkovic, and Richard Diaz Coder provided chemistry, energy, and music and dancing strength to this production. The ensemble which include Jason Grimm as the Monumental Studios mogul, R.F. Simpson; and Gabriel Ruiz as the Director, Roscoe Dexter gave notable performances. The remaining ensemble which include Lamont Brown, Annie Jo Ermel, Jackson Evans, Sean Michael Hunt, Danielle Jackman, Ian Liberto, Mandy Modic, Thomas Ortiz, Katheryn Patton, Jessica Wolfrum Raun, Collin Sanderson, Catherine Smitko, Brandon Springman, Richard Strimer, and Amanda Tanguay provided excellent support with the amazing cheoreography by Tammy Mader. The tap numbers were wonderfully mastered with created with precision.
Musical supervision and Orchestral conduction by Patti Garwood, costume design was once again mastered by Nancy Missimi, lighting design by Jesse Klug, and the perfect set design was by Tom Ryan.
Singing in the Rain is musically and visually entertaining. The on stage talent is once again amazing. I highly recommend seeing Marriott Lincolnshire's production of Singing in the Rain. In spite of the weak book, it is a fun musical theatre experience.
Singing in the Rain is appearing at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre through December 31, 2016. For performance and ticket information you may go to www.MarriottTheatre.com, call the Box Office at 847-634-0200, or www.ticketmaster.com.
Michael J. Roberts
is the feature writer of "ShowBizQ"
on the GoPride Network.