I grew up with films and TV. This means nothing to kids today, but in the early 1950s family entertainment was severely limited compared to what we have today. Our home on South Ferry in Tacoma was the first on the block to have a TV set. I think we were one of the very few that would travel to downtown Tacoma and see feature films as well. I remember going to the Temple Theatre, the Realto, the Blue Mouse, and even the Lakewood Theatre, which seemed like a one hour drive from Tacoma to Lakewood then regaling my friends the next day with scene by scene details of what they had missed. I don’t recall each and every film we saw, but I’m willing to bet “Singing in the Rain” was one of them.
There are many great moments, but “Good Morning” is my favorite!
I’m sure I’ve seen every Gene Kelly dance film. Kelly and Stanley Donen usually co-directed like they did in “Singing in the Rain.” The dancing in “Singing in the Rain” features Gene Kelly, Donald O’Conner, and new-comer (at the time) Debby Reynolds. The film is a laugh riot and so is the live theatre version, which we saw at the Fifth Avenue in Seattle in 2005.
A few years ago we stayed at a hotel in Edmonds for a weekend. We ate at different restaurants, walked around town, and visited yard sales. We even went to their entertainment center where they have concerts and exhibits. We stopped in and they just happened to be featuring Singing in the Rain projected onto a huge screen. We really enjoyed the presentation. We were amazed with the sound effects during the big “Singing in the Rain” scene. The rain seemed so realistic. When we walked out we found out it wasn’t the effects making the sounds, it was a giant downpour. They didn’t even charge for the extra thunder!
Official Trailer for Singing in the Rain – imdb.com/video/vi2086470681/
So, is “Singing in the Rain” our favorite Gene Kelly musical? Nominated for 2 Oscars, 7 wins & 9 nominations total. No, that honor belongs to “It’s Always Fair Weather.” “It’s Always Fair Weather” also features directing by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. Cyd Charisse, who was also in “Singing in the Rain – in the dream ballet,” replaced Debbie Reynolds. Dan Daily replaced Donald O’Connor. Joining the group was Michael Kidd who later made a huge name for himself on Broadway with his dance choreography, too.
Official Trailer for “It’s Always Fair Weather” – imdb.com/video/vi3892560153/
The really good news is that Tacoma Musical Playhouse is starting out their new season with “Singing in the Rain.” Watch the film to get you revved up for the stage production. We are sooooo looking forward to seeing the stage show. The live production opens September 16th and runs until October 9th. We’re taking granddaughters as well to the musical.