The Reagle Players
THEATER REVIEW - By Topher
There is something special about theatre. It's LIVE. The production
is playing to you, right then, right there, nothing is taped for later
broadcast and nothing is edited out.
On an Friday night in early August I went to see The Reagle Players stage production of the MGM classic film "Singing In The Rain". The musical was performed at Waltham High Schools Robinson Theater. The Reagle Players have maintained a partnership with WHS for the past 34 years. Waltham High School has gained a vastly improved theatrical facility with state of the arts sound and lighting instruments contributed by the production company, and this symbiotic relationship has given the Reagle Players, a permanent home for their base of operations and productions, which showcases both Broadway and local talent.
All in all I'd have to say it was a fine production directed by, Kirby Ward. 1920's Hollywood is the setting for this zany, light-hearted, romantic comedy about the early days of sound film, when a many a movie studio found itself scrambling to salvage the career of its chipmunk-voiced silent picture star. Our main characters are: Don Lockwood, the dashing silent film star (John MacInnis); Lina LaMont, Don's beautiful co-star who has the voice of Edith Bunker (Heidi Johnson); Cosmo Brown, Don's comedic accompanist and life long pal (Joshua Finkel); and Kathy Seldon, Don's love interest and aspiring young starlet (Christina Saffran Ashford).
All four actors share great stage presence, musical and tap talent, and a theater family-based camaraderie. MacInnis and Finkle show us a happy-go-lucky, buddy- buddy relationship teaming with talent,especially in numbers like "Fit as a Fiddle" and "Moses". Ms. Ashford plays the roll of the ingénue with aplomb and captivates the audiences during "You Are My Lucky Star" and "Would You". Although Heidi Johnson only has one musical number in the production with "What's Wrong with Me?" her portrayal of the ditzy Lina LaMont is hysterical and scene stealing.
If the stars shine brightly on stage undoubtedly the reason behind it is that the supporting cast has propelled them there. This was a truly wonderful ensemble cast that has everything going for them.
The production itself was gorgeous. The choreography(Peggy HIckey), Orchestrations(Brent S.Ferguson), sets and costumes (The Set Company),lighting design(David Wilson) , and special effects teams all worked very hard to make this a viable production, and to their credit it was. They did however have a few bumps in the road, especially with their cordless microphones. The cast though they are listed as a semi-professional troupe, carried on with exceptional grace keeping the audience focused on the material at hand not the error. Bravo to you all!
This MGM classic has been faithfully and lovingly adapted by Broadway legends Betty Comden and Adolph Green from their original award-winning screenplay. Each unforgettable scene,song, and dance, is accounted for, including the show stopping title number, complete with an onstage rainstorm! Hilarious situations,snappy dialogue,and a hit-parade score of Hollywood standards make "Singin' In The Rain" the perfect entertainment for any fan of the golden age of movie musicals.