Seattle native Dirk Lumbard stars in 'Singin' in the Rain."
Photo by Chris Bennion.
by Deborah Stone
The 5th Avenue Theatre's Singin' in the Rain, directed by Charles Repole, is a nostalgic romp back into the grand era of the 1920s, a time when studios were making the transition from silent films to "talking pictures" in "Hollywoodland."
The show follows the story of Don Lockwood, Hollywood's leading man, enthusiastically played by Seattle's Dirk Lumbard, and his leading lady, Lina Lamont, the queen of silent pictures, played with comic exaggeration by Rachel deBenedet.
Lockwood and Lamont are forced by their studio contract to make a "talking picture." Unfortunately, Lamont, although a physical beauty, has a voice that would send movie viewers running for cover. The film is saved from being a disaster with the help of Lockwood's sidekick Cosmo Brown, played with superb comic timing by Randy Rogel, and ingenue Kathy Selden (Cynthia Ferrer). Studio producer R.F. Simpson, portrayed by veteran actor Jerry Lanning, and studio director Roscoe Dexter (well-known actor Alan Sues) both hinder and support the making of the "talking picture."
The show features such popular songs as "Good Mornin'," "You Are My Lucky Star," "All I Do Is Dream of You," and the title number "Singin' in the Rain," immortalized by the late Gene Kelly in the movie version.
Highlights of the show include Lockwood splash-dancing his way through 700 gallons of water onstage, the hysterical antics and slapstick humor of Cosmo in the number "Make 'Em Laugh," and Lina's attempts to speak into a microphone during the filming of the movie. Throughout the show, the audience is treated to actual film segments, both silent and "talking," of the actors in their roles.
5th Avenue's performance is colorful, with energetic tap dancing numbers, upbeat show tunes sung with gusto, and an able and enthusiastic ensemble. The costumes and scenery set the mood and depict the grandeur of Hollywood at that time.
Singin' in the Rain runs Tuesday-Sunday through Dec. 22. For ticket information, call Ticketmaster at 292-ARTS.