They just don’t make ’em like they used to!
Bill Hanney’s Theatre-by-the-Sea has brought back one of the great musicals of all time and given it a sumptuous showing, filled with great songs, dance routines, costumes and a schmaltzy story that is filled with nostalgia, cornball humor and love.
What more can I say about this revival of one of the greatest movie musicals ever made?
How about David Costa-Cabral’s flashy period costumes, or Kyle Dixon’s made-on-location sets?
You remember the story. It’s the late ’20s in Hollywood. The first “talkie,” The Jazz Singer, has taken the industry by storm. Monumental Studios must compete and follow the trend. The problem is that Lina Lamont, their leading lady, has a voice that would crack a mirror. Mychal Phillips is terrific in the role.
I like to read the “Who’s Who in the Cast” section of the program to check out the actors’ credentials. They always thank Mom and Dad and family for their support, but the talented actress has the best line ever: “Thanks to my husband and neighbors for listening to Lina’s voice for a few weeks and not moving out.”
It is a given that nobody could compare to Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in the respective roles of Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brown. That being said, kudos to Tim Falter and Sean McGibbon for making the roles their own. Falter has a nice tenor voice and good stage presence. While not as suave as Kelly, he is convincing in his character. Sean McGibbon is tall, lanky and has the body of Rubberman. His dance routines are fantastic.
Allsun O’Malley makes a lovely Kathy, the aspiring actress who becomes the voice of Lina, falls in love with Don, and has the clinching final scene that makes everything all right and leaves the audience cheering.
We also enjoyed the antics of Lina’s exasperated director, Roscoe, played by Thom Warren and the talented chorus who tapped their hearts out on the fabulous production numbers.
Don’t rush for the exit when the cast returns for its bows or you’ll miss the clinching reprise of “Singin’ in the Rain” with the entire cast hoofing it up like crazy.
We saw the show during the Tommy Brent era, where a jerry-rigged back yard swimming pool supplied the water for Don’s big title scene/song. The water never came and the actor had to do some improvising. Choreographer/director Kelli Barclay makes sure the cast gets quite wet.
If you want a fun, nostalgic, uplifting night at the theatre, get on down to Matunuck and catch this show, which closes on July 13. Call 782-TKTS for reservations.