Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Movie industry transitions to ‘talkies’ in hilarious moments from ‘Singin in the Rain’

Margaret Berkowitz, a student at The Madeira School, reviews “Singin’ in the Rain” performed by James Madison High School as part of The Cappies Critics and Awards Program.


James Madison High School's Jillie Terrill, Claire Ashur, Shannon Michelsen, Nicole Pradas, Johnathan Nichols, Selena Dubar, Corrine Cass, Leslie McConnaughey and Tori Terrill. (Photo by Rachel Chandler-Liu)

Cue the lights, camera, -- and rain! An umbrella is necessary at the toe-tapping extravaganza performed by James Madison High School, that takes the audience back to 1920s Hollywood with bright lights, flashy costumes and triple threat actors, dancers and singers.

Singin’ in the Rain, the 1952 American comedy musical film that originally starred, and was directed by, the iconic Gene Kelly, comically depicts Hollywood and its ground-breaking transition from silent films to films containing audio, otherwise known as “talkies." The high-spirited musical, written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green with music and lyrics by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, received many Golden Globe, Writers Guild of America, and Oscar awards and nominations.

It tells the story of a popular silent film star, Don Lockwood (Noah Lubert), and how he finds love in the only woman not to faint in his presence, Kathy Selden (Leslie Ann McConnaughey). Don’s production company panics at the introduction to talkies, as Lina Lamont (Kristen Bouchard), their leading lady, has an ear-piercing, nasally, utterly obnoxious voice. Kathy, who happens to be a stage actress struggling to start her own career, becomes faced with a choice: does she stay true to herself and her dream, or continue to be stuck behind the scenes dubbing Lina’s voice, as it floods Don’s company with money and thriving success?

The cast of James Madison kicked off the show from a first premiere- arriving entrance with vibrant costumes, colorful makeup, and time period-appropriate mannerisms. Throughout the show, the audience was entertained with everything from chorus girl numbers to back-flipping boys going across the stage.

Leading the show was junior, Noah Lubert, whose straight-man charisma and calm voice proved to make for a character that everyone loved to watch. Lubert’s tap dancing skills were extremely impressive as he completed even the most challenging steps, such as "wings," with dexterity and ease. As Lina, Kristen Bouchard did a very skillful job making her character absolutely dreadful, but still loveable to watch. Her comedic timing in her solo rant song, “What’s Wrong with Me?” left the audience in stitches.

Other actors that dazzled were, Andrew Barat as Cosmo (Don’s best friend and assistant), and Ryan Elci as the male diction teacher. Both had commanding stage presence and stood out with their comedic performances. Barat’s number, “Make ’em Laugh,” was impressive, as he sang out while performing tricks and dance moves, with ease. Elci’s scene as the vocal coach, helping Don prepare for talkies, was memorable to say the least. Not only did Elci have impeccable comedic timing, but also was able to lead in the number, “Moses” performing next to Lubert and Barat.

The sets done by Christopher Liu were artistic and creative, as well as waterproof, because it actually rained on stage during Lubert’s title song, “Singin’ in the Rain.” A few microphone glitches didn’t hinder the actors.

Overall, James Madison High School’s production of "Singin’ in the Rain" was as exciting and vibrant as the show’s time period of early Hollywood, and left the audience praying to Mother Nature for rain, so they could try it out for themselves.

By Margaret Berkowitz, Posted by Mario Iván Oña  |  May 9, 2010; 9:51 PM ET
 | Tags: Cappies 2010  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Unique friendship honored in W. T. Woodson’s 'David and Lisa'
Next: Slapstick and suspense in Flint Hill’s ‘Get Smart’

No comments have been posted to this entry.

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company