BWW Review: SINGING IN THE RAIN at Red Curtain Theatre Has The Audience Singing Along
With only having seen a sampling of "Singing In the Rain" with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, I didn't have a formed idea of what the Red Curtain's interpretation of the musical should have been like, but I knew Director Bob Bidewell, Choreographer Olivia Stephens, Music Director Kent Britton, and Producer Kristen Sherman had some big tap shoes to fill. Friday night's show in Staple's Auditorium at Hendrix College in Conway was enjoyable. This was definitely a different type show than normal for the Red Curtain, but it was a solid performance with memorable scenes.
Here is a short synopsis of the show: a silent film company is having to switch over to talkies. During that, the stars have a love triangle going on while learning how to adjust to recording sound for a movie.
For me, I was truly impressed with the ensemble work, both the singing and dancing. During "You Stepped Out of a Dream" the ensemble singing was fabulous. The blending of the voices with that big of a group was beautiful and added a lot of charm to that scene. I also enjoyed the ensemble's different wardrobe pieces. The MGM technicolor staff would have approved.
The movies shown were great. Filmmaker Daniel Cathers made it resemble how the movies looked back in the 30s, and you could tell they had a lot of fun creating those scenes. My group laughed and laughed and laughed.
Daniel Cathers as Don Lockwood surprised me with his versatility. The last thing I saw Cathers perform in was "Matilda" as the Latin dancer, and this was a drastic change from that character. It was noticed that he was not a seasoned tap dancer, but he still managed to command the stage with a Gene Kelly-esque air about him. Maggie Carroll as Kathy Selden was spunky and graceful. She sang and danced beautifully. As a big Johnny Passmore fan, I was, as usual, thrilled by his spin of Cosmo Brown-so funny with his sweet character, and the scene "Make Em Laugh" made me laugh. And though Logan Evans' accent was at times a bit inaudible at the beginning of the show, she really owned the ruthless blonde Lina Lamont, and I loved her song "What's Wrong With Me." My surprise favorite was Cory Williams as Roscoe Dexter. He stole the scenes for me. I couldn't quit laughing every time he charged on stage. And let's not forget the two talented boys who played the younger Don and Cosmo. Their short scene still managed to spotlight their star quality and dancing chops.
The Red Curtain Theatre astounds me with how far they have come in five years. They do a good mixture of kid and adult shows. They also offer Broadway Dance Academy for beginners to advanced for all ages. Coming up next in October is Chicago: High School Edition . For more information on the Red Curtain, you can check out their website at redcurtaintheatre.com or call (501) 499-9776.