Singin' in the Rain | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Singin' in the Rain

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Singin' in the Rain, Drury Lane Theatre Evergreen Park. Marc Robin's stage revival of this irresistibly good-hearted movie musical is an unqualified triumph--it has a splendid cast, clever costumes, and a monsoon to accompany the title song. The boffo plot celebrates a 1927 Hollywood that's about to turn golden with sound: a matinee idol, his former vaudeville partner, and a buoyant newcomer all make it big at Monumental Pictures, despite the enmity of a silent-screen goddess with the voice of a banshee. Song and dance have seldom been so well suited.

Richard Strimer, playing a lead after years of chorus work, evokes Donald O'Connor's awesome acrobatics. Curt Dale Clark, in the Gene Kelly role, not only brings down the house but soaks it, and a very game Linda Parsons channels Debbie Reynolds. We also get Dale Benson with all his glorious quirks as the studio head, Paula Scrofano as a breathless gossip columnist and a vocal coach, and Christine Sherrill as the loathsome goddess. The "Broadway Melody" number looks epic even on Drury Lane's arena stage, and the seven-piece orchestra has never sounded sharper.

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