Gene Kelly’s classic movie comes to life in Manila starting this August at The Theatre in Solaire. Co-Presented by VISA Entertainment, this critically acclaimed production from London’s West End opens on August 20 for a limited run.
Set in 1927, Singin’ in the Rain tells the story of the first Hollywood musical, when the silver screen found its voice and left silent movies and some of its stars behind. It’s a spectacular production filled with glamour, comedy, romance, fabulous music, marvelous performances, and lots and lots of rain!
Here, some things you need to know about this awesome production:
* If you’re sitting on the first three rows of the theatre, be prepared for a one-of-a-kind experience as you’ll be splashed with a generous amount of water during some of the dance numbers. Resident rainmaker and technical director Richard Blacksell says, “We drop 12,000 litres of water in the show. So that’s 12 tons of water that we drop on them over the course of two numbers—the first one being the iconic Singin’ in the Rain, as done by Gene Kelly and they see it again in the finale because it would be such a shame not to.”
* “We’re certainly, relatively, environmentally friendly. All of the water is UV-treated, sand-filtered, and chlorinated. Essentially, it’s the same machinery you would have in a swimming pool, except we’ve got it in the air,” adds Blacksell.
* Over 40m of carpeting is used backstage to absorb the water that cast members bring off with them from stage to protect the stage and set. Needless to say, a countless number of squeegees, mops, and towels are prepared daily for the rain clean ups before, during, and after the show. Three sets are used per show numbering over 50 mop heads, squeegees, and towels.
* Because Singin’ in the Rain is a beloved classic, there is an immense amount of skill and creativity involved in the process of breathing life to it. It’s not a matter of just copying the film, zooming out of the picture, and putting it on a stage. Musical Supervisor Robert Scott says, “You’ve got a responsibility to serve the piece as well as the movie because people come expecting to hear certain things and that’s what we have to provide.”
* Audiences will get to hear all the songs from the magnificent MGM score including Good Morning, Make ‘em Laugh, Moses Supposes, and of course, Singin’ in the Rain.
* Playing Don Lockwood, the silent movie star who has everything he wants is Duane Alexander. Duane was part of the Original South African cast of CATS, performing the roles of Coricopat, Mungojerrie, and Skimbleshanks. Bethany Dickson, who wowed audiences in China, New Zealand, and Singapore with her performance as Maria in The Sound of Music, plays aspiring actress Kathy Selden.
* The show travels in 10 x 40ft high cube containers because it has three different show decks, all of which are waterproof. Among others, there is a stage deck that lights up with over 100,000 LED lights. Not surprisingly, the show takes over 3,350 man hours to set up and 700 man hours to load-out.
* Twenty-four umbrellas are used on stage daily. Each cast member has his own numbered, colored umbrella, and a spare. The umbrellas were specifically designed for the show. They are laid out after the show to dry for the next performance, and maintained and fixed daily.
* The stage production of Singin’ in the Rain is based on the classic Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film by special arrangement with Warner Bros Theatre Ventures, Inc. Music Published by EMI. Produced by arrangement with Maurice Rosenfield, Lois F. Rosenfield, and Cindy Pritzker. This production is directed by Jonathan Church, with musical supervisor Robert Scott and Olivier Award nominated choreography by Andrew Wright. It is designed by Simon Higlett, with sound by Matt McKenzie, and lighting by Tim Mitchell.
* Singin’ in the Rain made a splash the moment it premiered, extending its run at the Chichester Festival Theatre in the United Kingdom due to public demand. It eventually transferred to the venerable Palace Theatre in London in 2012. After a sell-out West End season, four Olivier Award nominations, and a tour in the United Kingdom, Singin’ in the Rain debuts in Manila this August.
* The Manila season opens on August 20 2015. Tickets are on sale through TicketWorld. Call 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. It is co-presented by VISA Entertainment.