Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Singin’ In The Rain Jr

Dedicated to the late Debbie Reynolds, this production of Singin In The Rain Jr promised to have you leaving with a smile on your face.

Presented by TB Arts
Reviewed 27th February 2017

Dedicated to the late Debbie Reynolds, this production of Singin In The Rain Jr promised to have you leaving with a smile on your face. These young performers made that promise a reality.

Hollywood heart-throb Don Lockwood was played commendably by Lachlan Zilm. What Zilm lacked in vocal skill, he certainly made up for in his cool-guy persona, and his strong tapping ability. Amelia Sanzo as Kathy Selden had a perfect balance of innocence and self-assertivness, and her vocals were placed nicely in her soprano register. Standouts at this performance, however, were Josh Spiniello as Vaudevillian Cosmo Brown, and Gemma Caruana as the self-centered antagonist Lina Lamont. Spiniello’s physical acting style and sense of comic timing were outstanding, particularly in Make Em Laugh. His vocal lines were also of a consistently high standard throughout the show. Caruana was Lamont to a tee, her brash presence, harsh accent and adequately ‘terrible’ vocals providing a delightful contrast to the rest of the cast.

The standouts did not stop at the four principal characters. In the whole-cast scenes, each of the forty-strong ensemble members maintained high energy levels, and remained in character for the entirety of the scene. Each of these young performers should be congratulated on this brilliant effort. It was particularly pleasant seeing so many young boys having the time of their lives!

Director Michelle Davy and Producer Joni Combe deisgned the set effectively, and as the title of the show suggests, the cast did quite literally sing in the rain, thanks to Warwick Smith’s ‘rain’ structure. In fact, along with Greg Donhardt’s vibrant lighting design, and Sue Winston’s striking period costumes, the production was aesthetically engaging.

Unfortunately, it was the sound design let this production down. When voiced over musical backing tracks, dialogue was often unheard, and inconsistent levels between principal characters meant that songs were often unbalanced. The cast also seemed to be reliant on their microphones, instead of attempting to project themselves.

Choreography, by Zac Vasiliou and Laura Brook, was inclusive and effective, particularly in Broadway Melody, and Moses Supposes. The cast, under the musical direction of Mitchell Smith, were mainly vocally strong. Combe and Davy are to be commended for giving these aspiring performers a platform to showcase their talent, to have fun, and to learn the great number of life lessons that one can take away from the theatre.

Reviewed by Ben Francis

Rating out of 5: 3.5

Season Ended

 

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