xRoyal City Musical Theatre
Singin’ in the Rain by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed. Direction and Choreography by Valerie Easton

Dates and Venue April 4 – 20, 2019, Thurs, Fri & Sat 7:30pm; (matinees 2pm – Sat on Apr 13 & 20 & 2pm – Sun Apr 7) |Massey Theatre, 735 8th Ave, New Westminster

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

We loved tonight's performance as Massey Theatre celebrates its 30th year with the production of Singin' in the Rain.a musical comedy that takes place in Hollywood in 1927 at the end of one era and the start of another. I am talking about the end of silent pictures and the start of films with sound (talkies). The unfortunate thing is that not all silent film actors and actresses are gifted with beautiful voices. In this musical, a film company, Monumental Pictures, embarks on a new talkie film, The Dueling Cavalier.

They have to compete with the latest hit, another talkie,The Jazz Singer. The big problem arises with the discovery that their leading lady (Robyn Wallis) as Lina Lamont has a terrible speaking and singing voice. Kathy Selden (Tessa Trach) is discovered and her beautiful voice will become a voice-over for Lamont.....or will it?

Now the fun begins.

Lamont is a powerful actress and the awful voice she emits and blasts forth is like a nail on a blackboard. Her voice and acting talents are dynamic and extremely funny. A particular scene had me rolling. Wallis is using a microphone for the the first time and it is hidden in a bouquet of flowers. I'm sure you can visualize how humorous this gets to be.

I was impressed with the beautiful costume designs and the choreography. When the female dancers come out wearing identical glittering blue short dance dresses, there is an immediate visual impact. Trach as leading lady had the perfect voice. It was a breath of fresh air to see an entire stage of tappers.

It was absolutely wonderful to be able to see the musicians in the orchestra. They have all this great talent but are rarely seen at most theatres. Their music was flawless.

The whole cast exuded sheer joy in performing on opening night. The entire cast and production staff should be proud of their hard work. Costume design,  stage design, lighting, acting, dancing and singing arrangements were right on the money, The switching from black and white film to the colourful stage added a fun dynamic.

This is a definite “go to” Spring performance at the Massey.

© 2019 Karen Fitzgibbon