When’s the last time you saw precipitation in the theater? Singin’ in the Rain is a cinema classic, largely due to Gene Kelly’s iconic song-and-dance performance of the movie’s titular musical number. Singin’ in the Rain is a lovable reminder of how much fun a musical can be, and also a comical satire of Hollywood’s transition from silent movies to sound. Sometimes it’s hard to live up to expectations. However, under the direction and choreography of John K. Monnet, this production by the Arlington Players did not disappoint.
With Tim Lewis as Don Lockwood, Preston Meche as Cosmo Brown, and Rachael Fine as Kathy Seldon, the trio delighted the audience with a faithful rendering of the fast-footed “Good Morning” dance number. Lewis is full of charm as Lockwood, and he pulls off the most-anticipated number of the show very well with a mix of recognizable choreography from the Gene Kelly original. Meche is a rambunctious and cheeky Cosmo, and his “Make ‘Em Laugh” number is a crowd-pleaser. His best line is ”a triple threat” to describe Lamont’s lack of dancing, singing, and acting talent. Fine’s presence as Selden captures the sweetness and shyness of the character with an underlying strength, and her voice is lovely.
Stacy Claytor is hilarious in the role of Lina Lamont, the somewhat deluded diva with the less-than-stellar diction. The addition of the song “What’s Wrong With Me?” to the stage musical is a win; she is consistently funny and does bring “a little joy into our humdrum lives.” The super special bestie handshake between Claytor and featured actress Fosse Thornton as Zelda Zander is fabulous.
The ensemble in this show is wonderful. The Arlington Players’ abbreviated name is TAP, and that’s just what this cast did as they danced and sang their way into the audience’s hearts. The tap numbers were simply impressive. The show wraps up with a hugely fun reprise of “Singin’ in the Rain” with the full cast holding umbrellas. Costume Designer Joan Lawrence did a phenomenal job dressing the entire cast to fit the time period.
The Arlington Players usually feature high-end production values and this is no exception. Projection Designer Jon Roberts, Sound Designer Adam Parker, and Sound and Audio Engineers Adam Parker and Chris Kagy had no easy task to make believable and effective projections of the actors in simulated silent movies, as well as the lip-synching segments. They pulled it off quite seamlessly. Additionally, Scenic Set Designer Jared Davis and Technical Director Christopher Smith proved that you can certainly make a splash if it’s done correctly.
Running Time: Approximately two hours and 25 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Singin’ in the Rain plays through April 8, 2023, presented by The Arlington Players performing at the Jefferson Community Center, 125 South Old Glebe Road, Arlington, VA. Tickets ($25 for adults, $22 for seniors and military, and $15 for students and children) can be purchased online.
The cast, creative, and production credits are online here.
COVID Safety: Masks are required inside the Community Center.
Singin’ in the Rain
Screenplay by Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Songs by Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed