Singin’ In The Rain review: A smash hit with a star-studded ensemble.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN REVIEW: Adam Cooper, Kevin Clifton of Strictly Come Dancing, and Steps pop legend Faye Tozer star in the spectacular 2021 revival at Sadler’s Wells.
There couldn’t be a more appropriate show to watch right now, as the UK battles one of the wettest summers in recent memory. This wonderful rendition of the popular Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds musical is upbeat and imaginative. It also comes with 6,000 gallons of water for a magnificent rendition of the legendary title number, as well as a riotously splashy encore, if you didn’t get wet on the way there. If you’re seated in the first few rows, bring a mackintosh.
With the inclusion of several new songs, the production accurately follows the 1952 MGM movie musical about the emergence of the ‘Talkies’ note for note and scene for scene. It also brilliantly recreates the humorous silent film scenes, as well as the disastrous first attempt to add sound.
Since the premiere of this Chichester Festival Theatre revival in 2011, former Royal Ballet and Adventures in Motion Pictures actor Adam Cooper has played Hollywood leading man Don Lockwood. He may be a little more calculated in his moves now that he’s 50, but his mature singing voice has a wide range and he exudes charisma throughout.
Charlotte Gooch, who plays feisty starlet Cathy Seldon, is a perfect fit for him. She’s a fantastic dancer, and the two have a strong chemistry that adds a powerful layer to their squabbles and ultimate romance.
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Kevin Clifton, a former Strictly Come Dancing contestant, shines as Don’s best friend Cosmo, combining terrific comic timing and, predictably, fancy footwork. He’s a hoot throughout, albeit the legend of Donald O’Connor looms large in the background, and the stage adaption falls short of the big-screen blockbuster Make ‘Em Laugh. While this may be a minor flaw in the direction, drawing comparisons to the outstanding original picture is fruitless elsewhere. Simply relax and take it all in.
Faye Tozer as shrieking silent cinema harridan Lina Lamont, played by Steps star Faye Tozer, was a genuine eye-opener for me. I was perplexed as to why an accomplished singer and dancer would waste their talents on a job that required painful inadequacy in both, but Tozer triumphantly and torturously mangles and flattens every vowel. It worked out well. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”