This 'Rain' can cure the winter blues | Art & Appetite

By James Spangler | Jan 12, 2017
Photo by: Mark Kitaoka Village Theatre is staging the musical "Singin' in the Rain."
‘Singin’ in the Rain’
Rating 4.8 out of 5
Where: Village Theatre at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett
Tickets: $53-$68
Information: www.villagetheatre.org, 425-257-8600

 

It's that time of year when many of our retired neighbors have fled to warmer, sunnier environs for a few months.

Things can get a little dreary around here if we let them. The sun, which has actually been present more this winter than I remember, can sometimes seem like a distant memory.

That's why those brilliant folks at the Village Theater are to be commended for presenting what is essentially comfort food for the brain in a very entertaining package.

Unfortunately for the snowbirds, this new production only runs through Feb. 5. For the rest of us, “Singin’ In The Rain” has everything – cheery, charming musical numbers, spectacular dance routines and a sweet, idealistic storyline where the girl gets the guy or vice versa, the studio is saved, and even the washed up diva manages to make out well.

“Singin’” opened Friday at the Everett Performing Arts Center on the heels of the sad news that Debbie Reynolds, whose breakout role as Kathy Seldon in the blockbuster 1952 movie brought her into the consciousness of millions of Americans, had died.

A sellout opening night crowd was transported back to the 1920s, via 1950s sensibilities, where the backdrop of the story – the death of silent pictures and the rise of “talkies” – is suggestive of change brought by any new technology. I couldn't help thinking that virtually everyone in the audience could identify with Lena Lamont, the silent movie star facing extinction.

Played beautifully by Jessica Skerritt, it was hard not to root for her despite her numerous character flaws. It’s a wonder that the classically trained Skerritt can stand to sing off-key and speak in character night after night. However she managed it, her performance was one of the many highlights of the evening.

No review of this production could be complete without considerable acknowledgement to Bill Forrester and his team of choreographers. My amazement turned to awe on several occasions. I love tap dancing. There. I said it.

Kai Johnson and Bryan Kinder were terrific as young Don and Cosmo. Gabriel Corey and John David Scott kill it in “Moses Supposes,” and “Singin’ In The Rain” is also quite wonderful. Making it rain on stage has to present technical issues that I can't even begin to imagine.

This one is a go-see for sure, even if just as a remembrance of the great Debbie Reynolds.

But beside that, treating yourself to some musical theater might be just what the doctor ordered to chase away the winter blahs.

I think it only fair to warn you, if you should decide to take in “Singin’,” you stand a strong probability of finding yourself whistling “Make ‘em Laugh,” and you may have serious difficulty getting” Good Morning,” a particularly pernicious ear bug, out of your head.

Still, it’s well worth the risk. To borrow a phrase from Don Lockwood: After a dose of “Singin’ In The Rain,” “From where I stand, the sun is shining all over the place!”

James Spangler is the owner of Spangler Book Exchange in Edmonds and an aficionado of all things art and appetite. Do you know of a Snohomish County restaurant, art gallery or theatrical show worthy of a review? Call him at 206-795-0128 or email him at jamessspangler@gmail.com.


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