SHOW: Singin’ in the Rain
CAST: Grant Almirall, Bethany Dickson, TARYN-LEE HUDSON, Steven van Wyk, Anne Power, Mila De Biaggi, Thalia Burt, James Borthwick
VENUE: Teatro at Montecasino until March 13
REVIEWER: PETER TROMP
(We are running Peter Tromp’s review of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ from the Cape Town edition of The Next 48Hours, from when the production showcased at the Artscape Opera House in the Mother City during the festive season. The Next 48hOURS has been assured that the show is unchanged for its Joburg run, and thus we are running Tromp’s review virtually unchanged.)
Some productions just bedazzle the pants off of you. ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is an immensely charming show that scores high in the “wow factor” stakes, without overwhelming one with an overabundance of sound and colour.
Containing perhaps the most perfect first half of any musical during the course of the past year, this dance heavy show, with choreography changing from tap to jazz to ballet in an instant, constantly has a new trick up its sleeve. Just when you think you’ve become accustomed to what the production can throw at you, a new set piece will shift your expectations – to squeals of delight from the audience on the evening I attended.
Like its beguiling lead character, silent movie star Don Lockwood (an immensely winning Grant Almirall), the show plays a number on you and before long, you’re swooning in its arms. But as with most things in life, you have to come down to earth eventually.
I wished that the show carried its momentum all the way through to the end. ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ somewhat suffers from an underwhelming second half, compared to that absolutely stunning first; somehow the tempo doesn’t carry over after the break, as the show shifts focus to resolving its plot points.
Fortunately, this is one musical that is very character-centric and with so many likeably rendered oddballs to become invested in, one’s interest is maintained until the end. As a neat bow is tied upon the exploits of the musical’s protagonists and antagonists – the creatives and suits who are having to navigate that awkward period when silent film transitioned into “talkies” – you might find yourself longing for those swoon-inducing moments from earlier when Don Lockwood was working overtime to catch your eye.
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