Theater Review: SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (The Soraya in Northridge and The La Mirada Theatre)

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by Joan Alperin on April 19, 2019

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional

LET THE GOOD TIMES POUR

When people say a musical is old-fashioned they usually mean it in a negative way, which is silly. There are bad, good, and brilliant musicals, and Singin’ in the Rain is brilliant.

The stage version of Singin’ in the Rain was adapted from the 1952 MGM movie written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green with songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, choreographed and directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen.

When I saw the production at the Soraya in Northridge, the energy in the audience was palpable as we anticipated the amazing score: “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Moses Supposes,” ”Good Morning” and of course the title song; no one was disappointed. (The production moves to La Mirada Theatre, running through May 12, 2019.)

This popular musical may fall into the “old-fashioned” category, but that hardly matters when this production feels so fresh thanks to the great choreographic talent of Spencer Liff, who also proved his mettle on So You Think You Can Dance?, Falsettos (now playing at the Ahmanson), and the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening.

And then there’s the chemistry. The two leads, Kimberly Immanuel (as chorus girl-turned-ingénue Kathy Seldes) and Michael Starr (as movie star and love interest Don Lockwood) have amazing chemistry and their voices and dance skills are absolute perfection. Brandon Burks (Cosmo Brown) ups the ante with superior comic skills interpolated with killer dance moves and a boffo voice, making this a knockout trio. And Sara King as Lisa Lamont — the blond bombshell with a high screeching ear-piercing voice that could scare a cat — is absolutely wonderful.

The musical is set in the late 1920s just before movies transformed from silents to talkies killing more than a few careers in the process. Set designer John Iacovelli does an excellent job of capturing the streets of old Hollywood including Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, studio lots and, yes, the iconic rain on the stage.

I can’t imagine anyone walking out of the theater without feeling an incredible high from this excellent production. This is definitely a must-see.

photos by Austin Bauman

Singin’ in the Rain
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
14900 La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada
Wed & Thurs at 7:30; Fri at 8; Sat at 2 & 8; Sun at 2
ends on May 12, 2019
for tickets, call 562.944.9801 or visit La Mirada Theatre
(reviewed at The Soraya in Northridge)

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