By Sally Hogarty Columnist
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/14/2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Don Lockwood may be “singing in the rain” in the beloved Broadway musical of the same name, but Diablo Theatre Company’s production is anything but all wet.
From Dyan McBride’s solid direction and Carol Edlinger’s glorious costumes to Kelly Tighe’s ingenious set and Cheryl Glass’ musical direction, “Singin’ in the Rain” is an extravaganza of delight. Choreographer Staci Arriaga, who also plays Dora, creates one beautiful stage picture after another, enhanced by Chris Guptill’s gorgeous lighting.
And, as promised, it did rain on the Hofmann stage. Somehow, Tighe managed a downpour that totally soaked Keith Pinto (Don Lockwood) yet allowed him to dance without slipping and sliding all over the stage.
McBride found a wonderful cast to portray the colorful 1920s citizens of Hollywood, all of who also dance up a storm — literally! The three leads — Pinto (Lockwood), Melissa Wolfklain (Kathy Selden) and Ryan Drummond (Cosmo Brown) — work beautifully together, especially in “Good Morning.” While Pinto has appeared several times with Center Rep, this is Wolfklain’s first appearance at the Lesher, and with that knockout voice, I hope it will be the first of many.
But despite the formidable talents of Pinto and Wolfklain, Drummond steals the show as Cosmo. With a body made to dance and an innate sense of comic timing, Drummond makes the most intricate moves look easy. His “Make ‘Em Laugh” is a tour de force. Mary Kalita (Lina Lamont) also does a memorable portrayal as the voice-challenged darling of the cinema.
For tickets to “Singin’ in the Rain,” which runs through Mar. 2 at the Lesher Center, call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.