REVIEW: Singin' in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain hit the big screen in 1952, starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. The movie, later translated into a musical for the stage, depicts three Hollywood stars transitioning from silent films to “talkies.”  Bloomington Civic Theatre does a lovely job bringing this classic show to the stage by combining song, dance, and black-and-white movie clips in order to give the audience a full scope of the play.

C. Ryan Shipley (Don Lockwood) and had big shoes to fill playing the role Gene Kelly made famous. He does a nice job being a triple threat (dancer, singer, actor). Shipley has a dream-like look to him, as if he’s always floating on a cloud with his bright eyes and grinning smirk. Jeffrey C. Nelson (Cosmo Brown) was a good clown as Shipley’s sidekick, but hammed it up a bit too much. Also, he seemed breathless while dancing and singing. (Of course, it’s hard to do all at once, but we as the audience don’t want to know that.) Rachel Weber (Lina Lamont) was a great annoyance, which was exactly what the part called for. The casting of Holli Richgels as Kathy Selden, Lockwood’s love interest, was confusing to me. Her soprano tone was fine, but she didn’t seem confident on stage. More oomph is needed to carry a leading part.

The supporting leads and chorus did a nice job complementing the leads. Brittany Parker who played the reporter, Dora Bailey, had perfect articulation and carried herself well. She was poised and confident on stage, which is always good to see. Alyssa Seifert had a few lines as Zelda Zanders and was mesmerizing. When she walks on stage, your eye automatically goes to her because she absolutely glows.  

As per usual, Bloomington Civic Theatre kicks it into high gear with their intricate costumes and top-notch sets. One thing that stood out was all of the dancers wearing the same taps and character shoes; BCT does not miss a thing when making sure their actors match and look their parts. The dance numbers, choreographed by Michael Matthew Ferrell (also the director of the show), were lovely, especially the final song, “Singin’ in the Rain.” Then again, I’m a sucker for a good tap number.

If you enjoy the classic movie, it’s worth the trip to see this show brought to the stage. There are great songs, including “You Stepped Out of a Dream,” “Moses Supposes,” “Good Mornin’,” and many more.

Singin’ in the Rain
Through September 15
Bloomington Civic Theatre, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd., Bloomington, 952-563-8575