Sometimes you connect with the world created by a fictional work, relating to the characters or their story in a way that makes you want to linger there. And while we might not want to perform a number in the rain (especially after gentlemanly relinquishing our umbrella to a passerby), there are plenty of reasons to visit the old Hollywood scene of Stars' "Singin' in the Rain."
You'd be right to say it's hard to top a movie musical like the 1952 classic, but this show doesn't need to do that. The measure of any good musical is the effect on its audience, that ability to transcend the stage or the screen. This show is an entertaining evening (or matinee afternoon) diversion, driven by lively musical numbers and a winning cast.
If that praise seems a tad effusive, it matches the enthusiasm of the team behind this show. The lead trio — silent film star Don Lockwood (Cody Garcia), childhood friend Cosmo Brown (Jake Wattenbarger) and aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Kelci Cerri) — are particularly winning and numbers showcasing them together ("Fit as a Fiddle," "You Were Meant for Me") are among the best. They shine in "Good Morning," with strong vocals and fleet-footed choreography.
This show's title plays up that singing but dancing is truly key in this show. Choreographed by Cerri and Terri Cline, who also stars as screen diva Lina Lamont, the musical numbers make the most of the performers' skills. Speaking of Cline, she makes an unlikable character immensely watchable and draws plenty of the show's laughs, thankfully not all at her expense.
The supporting cast is also strong: Stars utility player Norman Colwell as studio head R.F. Simpson, Lorilyne LaMacchia pulling double duty as radio host Dina and studio elocution expert Miss Dinsmore. She plays to the strengths of the latter role in the peppy "Moses Supposes."
There are plenty of laughs in the show, many thanks to the film interludes projected on the screen that comes down at key moments. (Shay Brandon Burke's cameo as the technician introducing the talkie technology was a nice touch.)
Audience reaction was good at the show I attended, which was nearly sold out. It's nice to see a good turnout, which should be a credit to this show's good word of mouth.
You can add this praise to the chorus.