Tuesday, April 12, 2011

LUCKY STAR By Beverly Creasey

Company Theatre in Norwell may be a bit out of the way but it’s worth the drive to see SINGININ THE RAIN—chiefly to see John F. King in the Gene Kelly role. RAIN is a mighty ambitious musical for a semi-professional company and yes, the rain came down without a hitch, leaving plenty of puddles for King to stomp through. Company Theatre hires equity and non-equity actors and like Reagle Music Theatre, it profits from the mix because the more seasoned performers help to raise the level of the other performances.

King is surrounded by talent in RAIN, especially Amanda Joy Loth as his love interest, the hoofer who saves the movie studio’s first “talking picture” when their “silent screen” star can’t (pronounced ‘kee-ant’) talk on film, even with elocution lessons. Michael Hammond, as King’s wisecracking sidekick, knows how to Make Em Laugh and the three together give the production plenty of kick.

Michael V. Joseph’s twenty piece orchestra is another reason to rave about Company’s production. They make the score crackle from the get-go, with a brass section that practically lefts you out of your seat. Best of all, they’re not buried out of view, so you’re able to see and hear them – and most importantly, the balance between singers and orchestra is perfect. (So often in musical theater it isn’t and you can’t make out the lyrics but not here!) Kudos, too, for the mock “silent films” at the heart of the story.