Any conversation about Narrows Community Theaters (NCT) spring production of Singin in the Rain will inevitably include an exclamation of how amazing was that dancing!That is because the dancing, choreographed by director/choreographer David Paul Kidder, is the showstopper, captivating the audience in well-known numbers like Make Em Laugh and Good Mornin, while adding effortless elegance to logistically tricky (Its rain! On a theater stage!) scenes like the titular Singin in the Rain, and transforming catchy songs like Moses Supposes and melodies like Broadway Rhythm into toe-tapping, visually-stimulating entertainment. Michael Santora and Justin Ryan have an effortless camaraderie as scrappy best friends who grew up to take on Hollywood as debonair leading man and effusive musical wunderkind Don Lockwood and Cosmo Brownoriginally portrayed by Gene Kelly and Donald OConnor in the classic 1952 movie musical.Santora somehow manages to wear the broadest smile imaginable throughout each of his dance sequenceseven when hes soaking wet and tapping through stage-rainimbuing Don with the charm needed to win over Marissa Giglios earnest and equally winning ingénue Kathy Selden. That smileand its occasional absencealso served to show the contrast between Dons growing affection for Kathy, versus his professional relationship with Maggie McGuires hilariously devious, yet relatable, silent screen starlet Lina Lamont.Meanwhile, Ryan is a scene stealer with his take on the talented, irrepressible Cosmo, making him more than just a trusty sidekick. His dance and comic skills are particularly evident in Make Em Laugh and Good Mornin, and he and Santora shine equally in their fun, synchronized and perfectly enunciated performance in Moses Supposes.As for the ensemble cast of dancers, it would be a mistake to overlook their contributions to NCTs overall production, as their skills are as evident as their demeanors are bright. Bravo to them! Of course, the dancings scene partner is the music and lyrics, composed by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed and presented wonderfully inside the Fort Hamilton Army Base theater by NCT Music Director Sean Cameron. Here, Giglio and McGuire shine in their respective roles as romantic rivals and as the songbird-on-the-rise and the star-who-cant-sing. Giglios rendition of Would You suits her characters sweet nature perfectly and her voice harmonizes well with Santoras in their duets.Meanwhile, McGuires take on Whats Wrong With Me manages to give the audience a glimpse into a Lina Lamont that is less a scheming villainess and more a casualty of the game-changing shift from silent films to talkies within the movie industry. McGuire can obviously sing and to hear her purposely singing badly as larger-than-life Lina is an impressive feat. Last, but not least, the humor, dedication and technical skill and direction by and from the supporting cast and crew combine to make this fantastic productionboth on stage and in the pre-recorded black-and-white film snippetsshine.
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