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Rio Grande Theatre’s ‘Singin’ in the Rain’: A brilliant break in the cloudy sky


Timothy Wilbur really did get to sing in the rain.

So did Alyssa Gose and Collin Duffey and the entire cast of Blank Conversations Theatre Company’s production of “Singin’ in the Rain” that continues through Jan. 30 at Rio Grande Theatre, 211 N. Main St. downtown.

I’m not sure how director Christopher Lininger and his amazing crew did it, but it rained on stage – beautifully, wonderfully, magically – as Wilbur performed the title song, and then when he was joined by Gose and Duffy and the entire cast for the finale.

The audience didn’t just get to see the rain splash and sparkle as these three young and wonderful stars danced, sang and twirled umbrellas – we experienced it in a way that only live theater – and in this case, really outstanding live theater – can do.

This is a grand and a great production on so many levels, and I encourage you most enthusiastically to go see it.

It would take a trunk full of gold stars to properly reward all the performers for their work in this show. Wilbur, Gose and Duffey were so appealing and so outstanding in the parts immortalized on film by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. Reagan Szulc was a perfect foil as Lina Lamont. There aren’t enough “bravos!” for this fab four; and there are so many great supporting performances among a cast of more than two dozen actors, singers and dancers.

The crew is about as large and deserves equal praise for their amazing work. Rio Grande Theatre is a wonderful performance space, but there isn’t a lot of room backstage. And yet, the five-member stage crew and the four-member costume crew managed to work around more than 50 people to keep the action going nonstop.

I must single out Susie Ouderkirk and Sada Carvlin for their work on the wonderful costumes, the choreography of Falicia Gonzales and Brianna Horvath, the musical direction of Bryan Berard (never to be forgotten for his outstanding work onstage in “The Mad Ones”), stage manager Brianna Miranda and assistants Steven Cousler and Roxi Garcia, and the video design of Gus David Sanchez. The story within the story of the silent movie “The Dueling Cavaliers” becoming the talkie “The Dancing Cavalier” in pre-recorded scenes is such a great part of the show.

I also must praise Lininger, who not only is the director, he is also a character in costume, a member of the crew and, in so many ways, the rainmaker.

I wish I had space to name all the other cast and crew members for their great work. This is an ensemble production that succeeds so brilliantly because of the dedication and talent of each and every member of the company.

“Singin’ in the Rain” was written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown.

It continues for one more weekend, with performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28-29, and at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30.

Tickets are $20 regular admission and $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available at the door and online at www.riograndetheatre.org.

Visit www.blankconversations.org.