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James Madison High School Singin’ in the Rain

By • May 12th, 2010 • Category: Cappies

One complication of the invention of the “talking picture” in the hey-day of the silent film industry is that the general populace would soon discover that their heroes of the silver screen did not possess a voice that was pleasing to the ears. James Madison High School told this intriguing and stirring story in their recent production of Singin’ in the Rain.

Singin’ in the Rain debuted as a movie in 1952 but was then adapted for the stage with a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by Arthur Freed, and music by Nacio Herb Brown. It follows a segment in the career of co-stars Don Lockwood (Noah Lubert) and Lina Lamont (Kristen Bouchard) as they are introduced to the world of talking pictures. Lina Lamont, however, has a small setback; her voice is incredibly unappealing. In order to promote success of the movie, Cosmo Brown (Andrew Barat), Don’s best friend, convinces Kathy Selden (Leslie Anne McConnaughey), an aspiring actress who Don eventually falls in love with, to dub over Lamont’s lines and songs.

The actors at James Madison High School did a great job in their consistency and sticking with distinct character choices in numbers such as “Broadway Melody.” Despite some moments where dramatic buildup seemed forced or vocal pitches seemed incorrect, standout actors such as JD Brady, who played director Roscoe Dexter, provided excellent comic relief and created an atmosphere that was both entertaining and engaging.

Noah Lubert led the cast in his portrayal of the lovesick movie-star Don Lockwood. His conviction, along with many other aspects of his performance, was unwavering and definite. Leslie Anne McConnaughey played Lubert’s opposite in her convincing portrayal of Kathy Selden. Lubert and McConnaughey played off of each other nicely in numbers such as “Would You” and “You Are My Lucky Star (reprise).”

Kristen Bouchard was a clear audience favorite in her portrayal of the dumb, foolish, and stuck-up movie star Lina Lamont. Her devotion to character was of professional nature and could be easily seen in her musical number “What’s Wrong with Me?”

James Madison High School’s technical elements tended to be inconsistent near the beginning of the show, but gradually increased in quality as the performance progressed. Christopher Foote and Christopher Rosecrans helped with the process of the rain affect for the song “Singin’ in the Rain” without any noticeable flaws. The films by Charlie Gilbert used in the storyline were very entertaining and humorous.

Even though there may have been some inconsistencies in James Madison High School’s production of Singin’ in the Rain, the entire show was pulled off delightfully and left the audience feeling satisfied. As it turns out, in the modern film industry, you really do need an enjoyable voice in order for the common people to love you and your work.

Joey Biagini of Westfield High School.

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