If ever there was a toe-tapping tune, it’s “Singin’ in the Rain.” The titular song from the 1952 musical comedy starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds has a firm place among beloved American show tunes, just as the film itself is a classic that has earned a top spot on the list of greatest American motion pictures.
Adapting Singin’ in the Rain for the stage was a natural, and the musical has been wowing audiences since it debuted on Broadway in 1985. Through February 18, South Florida audiences can get a dose of the show’s high-impact energy at The Wick Theatre.
Singin’ in the Rain follows the story of silent film star Don Lockwood (Jeremy Benton) and his leading lady, Lina Lamont (Laura Plyler). Lina has looks and glamour in spades but her voice is best suited for, well, silent film. So when Don’s producer, R.F. Simpson (Timothy Shew), announces he wants to make a “talkie,” Lina’s lack of talent is thrust to the forefront with disastrous results for the picture.
Kathy Selden (Darien Crago) to the rescue! Kathy, an actress and singer whom Don encounters with hilarious frequency, reluctantly agrees to work as Lina’s “voice,” mostly because she’s smitten with Don. The more these two, along with Don’s longtime buddy Cosmo Brown (masterfully played by Courter Simmons), work together to rescue the ailing picture, the deeper they fall in love—much to the jealous Lina’s dismay. With hysterical antics and memorable earworms, including Benton’s superb take on the iconic “Singing in the Rain” scene that unfolds on a city street during a downpour, the story bounces between grandiose dreaming and scheming, starry-eyed ambition, and, ultimately, love.
This production, which was most requested by The Wick’s subscriber base, is one of the best the theater has staged. It’s bursting at the seams with energy and laughter, and it’s likely to keep you humming for a good week after.