A perfect storm of local talent
By Jessica Cornish
The beloved 1950s American musical comedy Singing In The Rain has seamlessly transitioned from the silver screen to Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre for 2016. Exploring the 1920’s Hollywood film industry’s shift from silent films to the talkies and the challenges a studio faces when one of their biggest draw cards have the voice and personality of a shrill creature from another world, the Gene Kelly hit now features a host of new local stars.
With direction by Jonathan Church, choreography by Andrew Wright and musical direction by Adrian Kirk, this creative team have created a well-polished, colourful and picturesque Australian production of the great American classic. A strong ensemble with excellent diction, slick dance moves and a good energy contributed to the overall high-quality performances throughout the night.
Leading romantics were played by the well-seasoned Adam Garcia and Gretel Scarlett. Garcia fit the part well and seemed to naturally channel the 1920s heartthrob with suave charm, while appealing leading lady Ms Scarlett gave consistently strong vocal performances. Comedic relief was provided by the talented Erika Heynatz, who brilliantly portrayed the incredibly narcissistic and obnoxious beauty Lena Lamont. And last but not least, the 2008 So You Think You Can Dance competition winner Jack Chambers was a standout performer of the evening, consistently demonstrating vast stamina and charisma to make him the perfect sidekick as Cosmo Brown.
Highlight musical numbers included the classic vaudeville-themed song-and-tapdance number “Fit as a Fiddle”, the lyrical tongue-twister “Moses Supposes”, melodically catchy “Make ’em Laugh” and of course, “Singing in the Rain”. The staging of the highly anticipated theme song did not disappoint, replicating the iconic after-hour streets of Hollywood with a literal and spectacular down-pouring of rain soaking the stage and its inhabitants. I particularly enjoyed watching the cast members joyfully splashing in puddles and kicking water onto nearby audience members armed with plastic ponchos.
Singing in the Rain is a classic musical that captures all that is good about the world of traditional musical theatre and has been successfully presented to Australian audiences in a colourful, eye-catching and crisp-sounding production that will be residing in Melbourne until July.
Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Price: Ranging from $71.00- $117.00.
Melbourne Season: Tuesday to Sunday until July 5.
Image by Jeff Busby