Along with April showers, Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) is making a giant, indoor splash with its spectacular musical, “Singin’ In The Rain.”
Folks will likely recall that this stage musical began with the 1952 film featuring: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. Others may be familiar with replayed segments of Kelly’s famous rain scene and O’Connor’s startling tap-tumble while running straight up a wall. It’s hard to beat film technology but with an exciting cast and brilliant choreography by Richard Stafford, this live production comes pretty close.
The story is about a silent film company trying to convert to talkies. The problem is that its leading lady, “Lina Lamont” (wonderfully played by Allie Schauer) has a high-pitched voice similar to “Betty-Boop’s.” Song and dance men “Don” (Jeremy Benton) and “Cosmo” (Cody Williams) recruit newcomer “Kathy” (Shannon O’Brian) to dub in her voice for Lena’s in the film -- without informing the star. This triggers amusing tensions on the set and between the two women. Meanwhile, an on and off romance develops between Don and Kathy and naturally, everything works out in the end.
Betty Comden and Adolph Green wrote the screenplay with songs by Nacio Brown and Arthur Freed. It’s hard to list the most popular ones as each song is gem: “Fit As A Fiddle,” “All I Do Is Dream of you,” “You Are My Lucky Star,” etc. etc.
At WBT the main characters are highly polished professionals supported by a large, chorus of singing/dancers. Benton and Williams are outstanding tap dancers and O’Bryan is a beautiful songbird. Yes, there is real rain, a lighted lamppost, and with some slight changes in staging, Benton performs splashingly.
Astonishing are the expensive, fur and chiffon costumes provided by Costume World Theatrical and designer Gail Baldoni. This dazzling production, accompanied by a live orchestra under John Daniels and Von Ann Stutler, is truly Broadway quality entertainment. Adding to this luxury experience are the dinner theatre’s numerous meal and drink selections, courteous staff, and free parking.
Plays through June 12