By PAM HARBAUGH
Titusville Playhouse has opened the musical “Singin’ in the Rain.” It conjures up all sorts of things — romance, music and dance. There’s also the story about silent movies giving way to the talkies and Lina Lamont’s iconic squeaky lament “I cin’t stind ‘im” (as in, “I can’t stand him”).
And yes…there’s something else you get — RAIN. Almost a deluge of it. But, this is live community theater, hardly the 1952 movie in which Gene Kelly danced on the wet sidewalk and caught drops happily in his upside down umbrella. Right?
“It’s gonna rain,” said director Steven Heron. “It’s raining through the entire stage.”
Indeed. Mr. Heron and his ingenious crew use 250 gallons of water which is kept in barrels off stage. The water gets pumped through piping running 18 feet up and over the stage. And this is not just a little bit that rains downstage — this douses the entire stage.
To do that, TPI had its stage deck raised nine inches and covered with a non-seamed pond liner which collects the water. The floor holds the water which gets squeegeed off during intermission, pumped back into the barrels and set to rain again in the second act.
Moreover, Mr. Heron, always considerate as he can be with his actors, makes sure the water in the barrels is heated. And, he also made sure the surface would be dance-able and not slick.
“When it gets wet, it grips more than when it’s dry,” he said. “It’s been a huge process.”
A few more goodies about “Singin’ in the Rain” — TPI favorite son PATRICK RYAN SULLIVAN returns to star as Don Lockwood. Mr. Sullivan, as you may recall, is a professional actor who has appeared on Broadway and is a dream on stage. He just finished “Kiss Me Kate” at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. and is expected to head to Broadway.
Orlando actress Laura Miller plays comic character Lena Lamont; she played the musical’s romantic lead, Kathy Sullivan, in college. Returning to TPI is Orlando actor Mark Hardin (he was TPI’s hysterical “Roger Debris” in “The Producers”).
Look for a review later in Brevard Culture.
SIDE O’ GRITS: “Singin’ in the Rain” runs through March 20 at Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia St., Titusville, FL. It performs 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $20 to $26. Call 321-268-1125, visit TitusvillePlayhouse.com or click onto the ad on the right side of this page.