REVIEW: Singin’ in the Rain

Townsville Choral Society's Singin' in the Run runs until 29 January 2023 IMAGE: Alec Doherty

Townsville Choral Society’s Singin’ in the Rain can be summed up in a single word: Joyful.

This classic MGM musical abounds in all the bygone charm and casual glamour that you would expect, and has been brilliantly assembled by director Kylie Ball and the creative team.

The show follows Hollywood star Don Lockwood (Chris Davis) as he tries to free himself from the clutches of his cluelessly click clingy co-star Lina Lamont (Sarah Valinoti) and strike a match with aspiring actress Kathy Seldon (Stephanie Dick). Further complicating the love triangle is the rise of the talking picture, a challenging new “trend” in film, which Lockwood and Lamont must try to master.

Chris Davis and Stephanie Dick with the ensemble of Singin’ in the Rain IMAGE: Alec Doherty

Chris Davis masterfully channels a 1920s-era film star, bringing a genuine “good guy” to the stage and truly setting it alight both in the tender moments shared with Stephanie Dick, and the showier numbers alongside Sam Stewart , who plays Don’s best friend Cosmo.

As Kathy, Stephanie imbues her role with an endearing sweetness. Her beautiful voice fills the theatre with a sense of old-world romance, particularly on numbers like ‘All I do is Dream of You’ and ‘Would You’. Together, Chris and Stephanie share a connincing chemistry, while the addition of Sam makes for a totally titillating trio as their characters come together to hatch a plan. ‘Good Morning’ is an absolute highlight of the show, thanks to the buoyancy all three put into their performance.

Sam’s performance in support of our leading couple is absolutely divine. ‘Make Them Laugh’ is always an audience favourite, and Sam demonstrates brilliant physical wit and comedic timing in this fabulously slapsticky solo. Likewise, Chris and Sam play beautifully off one another in ‘Moses Supposes’ and it’s evident have very much they are enjoying themselves in this number.

Sam Stewart and Chris Davis in Singin’ in the Rain. IMAGE: Alec Doherty

It’s hard, however, not to cheer for villain Lina Lamont. Sarah Valinoti all but steals the show as the self-obsessed but clearly not self-aware starlet. Lina has just one number but her voice is… well, just… something else. Sarah has taken a character that could very easily be grating and bawdy and made her someone I think many in the audience audience were secretly rooting for despite Lina’s many flaws.

The four leads find incredible support in every aspect of the show: A tight ensemble, delicious costumes, fabulous orchestra, beautiful art deco-inspired sets and some dizzyingly fun tap numbers that are sure to have audiences pining for yesteryear.

The Townsville Choral Society’s Singin’ in the Rain is high-end, wholesome family fun. Take your kids, take your grandma and try to resist singing along.

Townsville Choral Society’s Singin’ in the Rain runs until 29 January 2023.

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