Review: Singing In The Rain



ImageRICHARD LUTZ slaps on his taps to dance along with a stage classic.

Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who has never…

…started yelping Singing’s In The Rain when caught in a thunderstorm?

For a matter of minutes at least you are Gene Kelly – or Debbie Reynolds for that matter  – as the rain pours down. Well, just in case you have forgotten the lyrics or have a dead soul, a quick leap down to the Birmingham Hippodrome may refresh you, re-kindle lost fantasies or just give you a couple of hours of song ‘n’ dance fun.

We all remember the Gene Kelly film. The Hippo production is the play of the movie which was about the movies…if you follow that. And it works in all its Broadway glory, its splashing and dancing and its memorable tunes crafted to get feet tapping. It is, in short, a winner.

Simply, there is nothing like dance on the live stage. The hoofers  are agile, the leads James Leece and Amy Ellen Richardson dance their hearts out and there’s a great comic turn from  Faye Tozer (formerly of  Steps)  as the squeaky voiced baddie who can’t sing,  act or dance and gets her comeuppance in this tale about the the advent of the talkies in Hollywood. As for the showstopper number, Singing in The Rain, tons of stair-rod rain pours down as Leece hoofs his heart out with only one slip on the wet stage during press night. He gamely got up and kept on going.

Of course, the actual plot creaks a bit ’round the edges with typical narrative based on the  ‘Hey kids, let’s put on a show’ enthusiasm favoured by the musical movies of the time. But we aren’t expecting War and Peace here. It’s corny, of its time and simple fun

On top of the big  numbers, there’s a live orchestra from the gallery in back of the stage – always a pleasure in this, the world of pre-records.

A great night out and okay for kids too.

Birmingham Rep until 5th April.  Tickets: 0844 338 5000

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