Presented by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises, Michael Cassel Group and TEG DAINTY
Reviewed 3 December 2016
When it started raining on the Festival Theatre stage and Don Lockwood started singing that iconic phrase “Do do do do do….” and the entire Adelaide opening night audience applauded, it became very apparent that this current stage version of one of the great movie musicals of all-time, Singin’ In The Rain was a thunderous (pun intended) hit. This Chichester Festival Theatre production is absolutely joyous and top class entertainment. It is thoroughly desrving of the standing ovation we all gave it on Opening Night.
Original director Jonathan Church doesn’t mess with perfection, but does manage to add touches that freshen up such a well known story line. One such touch is to have the ensemble set the stage for the first scene while the Overture is playing. So what?!? – they do it whilst dancing non-stop!!
Andrew Wright’s choreography is one of the many shining stars of this production. Tipping the tap shoes in the direction of Gene Kelly’s original choreography, Wright gives the dance numbers his own superb flair. The ensemble and leads also need to take credit for the dance routines looking so spectacular: the timing and skill from all can not be faulted.
Due to sustaining injury during the Sydney run, Adam Garcia had to pull out of the lead role of Don Lockwood. He has been replaced by Rohan Browne alternating performances with Grant Almirall. Browne was the Don for opening night and he did not disappoint. His was a masterful performance, with more charisma and style than even Kelly had. He integrates well with his co-stars, Gretel Scarlett (Kathy Seldon) and Jack Chambers (Cosmo Brown). This is particularly evident in the numbers Fit As A Fiddle with Chambers, and You Were Meant For Me with Scarlett.
Scarlett is absolutely delightful as Kathy, shimmering in everything she does. She is the perfect ‘girl next door’! Chambers is the consummate Cosmo deservedly stealing the show for a good proportion of the show. But the true scene stealer of this production is Erika Heynatz as silent movie film star, Lina Lamont, with a voice certainly not made for ‘talkies’. One ‘cain’t’ deny that she has the lovely Lina down pat. Her rendition of What’s Wrong With Me? in Act Two is just comedy gold.
Often a problem with many productions is the sound balance of the show. Not so here, it is as top-notch and perfect as everything connected with this wonderful and glorious production.
Although it’s Summer, make sure that you get out and do some Singin’ In The Rain!
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Venue: Adelaide Festival Theatre
Season: 1 – 23 December 2016
Duration: 2 hours 40 mins (including a 20 min interval)
Tickets: $69.90 – $109.90