BWW Review: SINGING IN THE RAIN Makes a Splash at Le Grand Palais - PARIS
Old Hollywood glamour has come to Le Grand Palais in the form of Châtelet's production of Singing in the Rain. The classic 1952 Hollywood film starring the legendary Gene Kelly was turned into a West End musical in 1983. The stage musical closely follows the original film. It is set at the end of the silent picture era and focuses on Don Lockwood (played by Dan Burton), his trusty sidekick Cosmo Brown (Daniel Crossley), star-to-be Kathy Selden (Monique Young), and Lockwood's leading lady Lina Lamont (Emma Kate Nelson), whose nails on a chalkboard voice will make her stardom fizzle with the invention of the Talkies.
This production is beautifully produced from the lush sound of a full orchestra conducted by Gareth Valentine to set design by Tim Hatley and costume design by Anthony Powell. Mr. Hatley and Mr. Powell cleverly use the idea of black, white and gray to convey the silent picture era. Also, don't fret they even make it rain on stage.
As for the actors on stage, I must admit that it is quite a job to compete with Hollywood Royalty. Gene Kelly is well Gene Kelly. Debbie Reyonlds is a as wholesome as American pie and Donald O'Connor is a showman to beat all showman. Nonetheless, the performers in the production skillfully do their jobs. However, Ms Jennie Dale as the vocal coach surprises us all when she starts to sing and tap. She steals "Moses Supposes" right under the noses of the two male leads. Her joy and style elevates us to musical comedy heaven.
All in all, it is a pleasant night at the theatre an added plus is that the entire experience is wrapped up in a full immersion concept at the iconic Grand Palais. Before the show and during intermission, you can take tap dance lessons, walk the streets of MGM and dine like the stars do.