Way Off Broadway to Present SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, 3/28-5/31
The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre's 20th Anniversary Season continues this spring with a new staging of the singing and dancing musical based on the classic MGM film, Singin' in the Rain. Nearly twenty years after the show was last seen on a Frederick stage, Way Off Broadway's production will open March 28th and run through May 31st.
1920's Hollywood during the waning days of the silent screen era is the setting for this zany, light-hearted romantic comedy when many a movie studio found itself scrambling to salvage the career of its chipmunk-voiced silent picture stars. This fun musical theatre romp focuses on romantic lead Don Lockwood, his sidekick Cosmo Brown, aspiring actress Kathy Selden, and Lockwood's leading lady Lina Lamont, whose less-than-dulcet vocal tones make her an unlikely candidate for stardom in talking pictures.
Singin' in the Rain made its first "splash" as a movie musical in 1952. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, the film starred Kelly as Don Lockwood, Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown, and Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden. The film was only a "modest success" at the time of its release. It has only been since then that Singin' in the Rain has been recognized as a classic and included on the American Film Institute's Top 100 Movies list, coming in at #5.
The first staging of the musical version of Singin' in the Rain did not come until 1983, 31 years after the release of the movie, in London's West End. Singin' in the Rain finally "crossed the pond" and had its American premiere on Broadway in the summer of 1985. The production played at the Gershwin Theatre for the next year, closing after 367 performances and 38 previews.
The original, and only Broadway production, was directed by legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp and received Tony Award nominations for Best Book of a Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical.
Way Off Broadway's production will be led by Jaimie Lea Kiska as Kathy Selden, Jordan B. Stocksdale as Don Lockwood, and Joseph Waeyaert as Cosmo Brown. They will be joined by Samn Huffer as R.F. Simpson, Melissa Ann Martin as Lina Lamont, and Zane L. Oberholzer, Jr. as Roscoe Dexter. Rounding out the cast are Chelsea Bondarenko, Tina M. Bruley, Mary Ellen Cameron, Charlie Cizek, Matt Crawford, Rebecca Eastman, Kaitlyn Huffman, Matt Mastromatteo, Phil Vannoorbeeck, and Megan West.
Singin' in the Rain has an original screenplay by and was adapted for the stage by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Way Off Broadway's production is directed by the theatre's Executive Producer, Bill Kiska, and has choreography by Dee Buchanan.
For several years, Way Off Broadway's producers had been discussing including Singin' in the Rain as a part of one of the theatre's seasons. One of the considerations for the production team was technical. What has always been a signature of the various productions of Singin' in the Rain is the classic scene where Don Lockwood dances along the street as it rains on stage. Knowing how important that scene is to the production, Way Off Broadway's production team wanted to make certain they had a workable design that would allow for the rain affect in the theatre's space.
"One of the things people enjoy most about Singin' in the Rain is seeing it rain on stage," Bill Kiska said. "We knew that was going to be an important scene in the show so we have to do it right."
Singin' in the Rain runs March 28 - May 31, 2014, with performances every Friday and Saturday evening and matinees on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday of each month. A special Mother's Day matinee performance has been added on May 11th. Tickets for a Friday evening or Sunday matinee are $43, with Saturday evenings being $47.