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Review Roundup: SINGIN' IN THE RAIN International Tour 2015

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN will run
in Manila until September 13
Photo credit: Erickson Dela Cruz

Manila, Philippines - The latest international touring production of the film-to-stage adaptation of SINGIN' IN RAIN, produced by Stage Entertainment and Chichester Festival Theatre, opened at the Theatre at Solaire Resort and Casino (ASEANA Avenue, Paranaque, Manila) last August 20 and will run through September 13.

Directed by Chichester Festival Theatre's Jonathan Church, the production stars South Africa-based triple threats Duane Alexander (Don Lockwood), Bethany Dickson (Kathy Selden), Steven van Wyk (Cosmo Brown), and Taryn-Lee Hudson (Lina Lamont).

The show's musical numbers, created by composer Nacio Herb Brown and lyricist Arthur Freed, based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures Inc., include "Singin' in the Rain," "Make 'Em Laugh," and "Good Mornin'."'

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, which earned two Tony Award nominations, "Best Book of a Musical "(Betty Comden and Adolph Green) and "Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical" (Don Correia), made its Broadway debut on July 2, 1985 at the Gershwin Theatre.

Let's hear what the critics had to say:

Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com: SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is a carefully staged homage to one of the greatest American films of all-time (BBC Culture, 2015). It's actually like a travel back in time revisiting some of the most unforgettable dialogues and scenes from the landmark motion picture plus more, such as the extended dance sequences "The Broadway Ballet," also known as "Broadway Rhythm" - a flash forward big dance sequence from the final cut of "The Dueling Cavalier" - and, of course, the title song, where there's real water pouring down and flooding the stage not done only once, but twice - choreographed by British director-choreographer Andrew Wright.

Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNNews.com: Director Jonathan Church showed respect for the source material and kept the mood and spirit appropriate to the era. This show is proudly old-fashioned and wholesome - even when Kathy turns out to be moonlighting as that kind of dancer who comes out of a cake - without necessarily becoming corny and outdated. In fact, the lavish production numbers, which utilize ballet, tap and other classical dance styles, turn out to be refreshing and impressive as these moves are rarely seen in more modern musicals. The musical's set piece, the elaborate fantasy sequence "Broadway Melody," captures the splendor of the old Great White Way, where dance takes center stage. Church, working with the Tony-nominated book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, was not just faithful to the movie's story, he also tried to replicate the film's winning numbers, including the slapstick physical choreography of "Make 'Em Laugh" and the sunny, funny "Good Morning" complete with the trick with the sofa.

Love blooms in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Photo credit: Erickson Dela Cruz

Cora Llamas, Philippine Daily Inquirer: The production values of this touring production are uniformly excellent, heralding its international origins, which are a collaboration of several international theater companies such as the Stage Entertainment and Chichester Festival Theatre, David Atkins Enterprises, Dainty Group, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, as well as local partner Concertus Manila. Scenes proceed at a snappy pace, the stage transforming from a glittery movie premiere night one minute to an array of long-legged showgirls headlining a party the next, then segueing to an almost nonstop tap dance sequence on Broadway's main street complemented by a dazzling burst of colors. Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed adapted the movie's musical numbers into musical theater form with a preservation that eerily echoes the film's soundtrack. "Good Morning," "Make 'em Laugh" and the titular "Singin' in the Rain," which ends Act One, are guaranteed showstoppers, and the adaptors knew enough not to change the movie's best parts. This is a feel-good production, and the show's producers make no pretensions otherwise. The 1952 movie was made by then-industry leader MGM, but this stage version could easily have been produced by Walt Disney.

Paolo del Rosario, CNN Philippines: It is a guarantee that the crowd will "ooh" and "ahh" as the rain starts pouring and the familiar strains of the signature song fills the venue. Those close to the stage may find themselves getting wet, but will probably do so with a smile on their faces. It is a performer-centric show, which requires the actors to possess that triple threat of skills to do the material justice. The show needs its performers to be talented dancers, singers, and actors, and this particular production's cast more than delivers. Living up to Kelly, O'Donald, and Reynolds is a daunting task, but the cast's Duane Alexander, Bethany Dickson, and Steven Van Wyk do well to live up to those big names. The biggest surprise is how antagonist Lina Lamont, played by Taryn-Lee Hudson, is portrayed in the stage adaptation. Those familiar with the film would remember the character, but Lamont's exploits on the stage would definitely leave a good lasting impression for the audience.

David Atkins Enterprises, Michael Cassel Group, Concertus Manila, Dainty Group, and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions have brought SINGIN' IN THE RAIN to Manila. For tickets, call TicketWorld at (632)891-9999 or visit ticketworld.com.ph.


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