Singin' in the Rain
A Musical in 2 Acts, 17 Scenes. Adaptation (book) by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Based on their screenplay for the MGM film of the same name. Music by Nacio Herb Brown. Lyrics by Arthur Freed.
London Palladium, June 30, 1983 (894 perfs)
Gershwin Theatre, Broadway, July 2, 1985 (367 perfs)
The classic MGM musical about Hollywood in the 20s when silent pictures were giving way to the "talkies". This light-hearted spoof of frantic Hollywood as the advent of sound changes all the movie making rules and Monumental Studios prepares its romantic epic The Duelling Cavalier includes some of the best-loved comedy routines, dance numbers and love ballads ever written. With a vintage score and book - and that torrential dance number - Singin' In the Rain is 24 carat classic entertainment.
The show opens in 1927 outside Graumann's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard at the opening night of Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont's new movie, a silent swashbuckler, The Royal Rascal. Fans press forward eagerly as Don gives gossip columnist Dora Baily a highly fictionalised account of his early life. The audience is let into the secret of the
The film The Royal Rascal is a wild success. It is after the movie's premier that we learn why Don would not let his leading lady make a speech the the movie theatre audience - Linda has a voice like a buzz-saw.
Eager to escape from Lina who is beginning to believe the studio publicity department's story of the romance between them, Don sends his friend and ex dancing partner Cosmo Brown to the studio party with Lina. Don goes for a walk and to escape from fans he pretends to be with a girl who is sitting on a bench. The girl, Kathy Selden, wants to be a serious actress and is wholly unimpressed by the screen idol that is Don Lockwood. Don, however, is smitten.
Later, at his party studio boss R.F. Simpson gives a demonstration of the new talking pictures. Then a huge cake is wheeled on and out pops Kathy who, much to her embarrassment comes face to face with none other than Don Lockwood. Don immediately makes fun of the fact that , having claimed to be a serious actress, she is working as a dancer. Kathy throws a cake at him, misses and hits Lina.
On stage at Monumental Pictures, Don is getting ready to shoot his new movie. All the while he is brooding about Kathy who, as a result of the fracas at the party and at the insistence of star Lina, has lost her job. Cosmo tries to cheer him up. The director of the movie, the larger-than-life Rosco Dexter, arrives to begin shooting The Duelling Cavalier. Don and Lina begin their love scene but when Don discovers that Lina got Kathy fired, the love scene degenerates into a row. Then R.F. closes the picture down - he has decided to shoot the movie as a talkie!
Kathy gets a job in Monumental's first musical. Spotted in the chorus, she sings for R.F. and Cosmo who has been appointed head of the musical department. Don hears her too. Kathy is put under contract - on condition that the news is kept from Lina. It is on the now deserted sound stage that Don uses the stage machinery to create the right romantic mood to declare his love for Kathy.
Preparing for their first talkie, Don and Lina are having elocution lessons. Lina's is going badly but Don is doing well although Cosmo arrives to mock.
Filming of The Duelling Cavalier hits problems as the sound men desperately try to find a place for the microphone. "It's in the bush", Rosco tells Lina - again and again- but she is hopeless. The preview of the movie is a disaster: the dialogue is trite, Lina's voice is awful and so is the sound quality. The audience is appalled. The studio faces ruin if the film's problems cannot be fixed.
At home, Don is depressed, until Kathy and Cosmo come up with the answer - why not remake the picture as a musical with Kathy miming for Lina? The trio celebrate this brilliant idea. Don takes Kathy home in his limousine. They kiss in the rain at her door and Don walks home on air - in the rain!
Kathy is recording Lina's singing and dialogue at night so that Lina won't find out. But someone has told Lina what is going on and she burst in to catch Don and Kathy kissing. Furious, Lina threatens revenge. The picture is nearly completed by R.F. wants a production number. Cosmo
The opening of the renamed Dancing Cavalier is a success. Lina is insisting Kathy be kept only as her voice and given no career of her own. Even R.F. has had enough and when Lina insists on making a speech, he doesn't try to stop her. The audience is shocked to hear her real voice - they demand a song. Kathy sings behind a curtain while Lina mimes a reprise of the show's hit song. Don and Cosmo raise the curtain to reveal Kathy singing. The audience is hysterical and Lina is humiliated. Kathy runs from the stage but Don asks the audience to stop her. She is now the real star - not Lina. Kathy's career is now assured and she and Don embrace.
4 principal men, 2 principal women, chorus
- DORA BAILEY - Gossip broadcaster
- ZELDA ZANDERS - Flapper starlet
- OLGA MARA
- MARY MARGARET
- R.F. SIMPSON - Agreeable studio head
- ROSCOE DEXTER - A frazzled director
- COSMO BROWN - Don's wacky best friend
- LINA LAMONT - Mean, grating movie diva
- DON LOCKWOOD - Genial movie actor
- YOUNG DON
- YOUNG COSMO
- KATHY SELDEN - The girl-next-door actress. ( Vocal Range: Soprano )
- 1ST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
- 2ND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
- 3RD ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
- WARDROBE MISTRESS
- A PRODUCTION SINGER - A tenor with a golden voice
- SID PHILLIPS
- MISS DINSMORE - A diction coach
- MALE DICTION TEACHER
- SOUND ENGINEER
ALSO: Members of the Ensemble with non-speaking roles.
Scenes and Settings
The action takes place in Hollywood in the 1920s.
Scene 1: The Premiere of "The Royal Rascal." Grauman's Chinese Theatre, September, 1927.
Scene 2: Altoona, Pennsylvania — a vaudeville theatre, ten years earlier.
Scene 3: Grauman's Chinese Theatre, onstage and backstage, at the premiere.
Scene 4: Hollywood Boulevard, later that evening.
Scene 5: The Coconut Grove party after the premiere.
Scene 6: The Studios of Monumental Pictures. Silent Stage, 7 October, 1927.
Scene 7: Shooting "The Duelling Cavalier," a silent film.
Scene 8: An empty soundstage.
Scene 9: Diction lessons.
Scene 10: Shooting "The Duelling Cavalier" as a talking picture.
Scene 11: Conversion of "The Duelling Cavalier" to a Musical. The Glendale Theatre, sneak preview of "The Dueling Cavalier" as a talkie, January 1928.
Scene 12: Don's home, later that evening.
Scene 13: A street near Kathy's house.
Scene 1: Filming musical numbers at Warner Brothers Studio.
Scene 2: Monumental Pictures' recording studio. (a) The next day. (b) Later that week.
Scene 3: Title production number in "The Dancing Cavalier."
Scene 4: Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the premiere of "The Dancing Cavalier."
- Overture - Orchestra
- Fit As A Fiddle - Don, Cosmo
- You Stepped Out Of A Dream - Don, Chorus
- All I Do Is Dream Of You - Kathy, Girls
- Make 'Em Laugh - Cosmo
- Beautiful Girl - Tenor
- You Were Meant For Me - Don
- Moses Supposes - Don, Cosmo, All
- Good Morning - Kathy, Don, Cosmo
- Singin' In The Rain - Don
- Would You - Kathy, Don, Lina
- What's Wrong With Me? - Lina
- Broadway Melody - Cosmo, Don, Chorus
Musical Numbers for Revised production
(not available for licensing by amateur groups)
- Fit as a Fiddle (Music and Lyrics by Arthur Freed, Al Hoffman, Al Goodhart) - Don Lockwood, Cosmo Brown
- Beautiful Girl (from GOING HOLLYWOOD film) - Don Lockwood, Fans
- I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin' (from BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936 film) - Kathy Selden, Coconut Grove Coquettes
- Make 'Em Laugh - Cosmo Brown
- Hub Bub (Music by Stanley Lebowsky) - Cosmo Brown, Studio Stage Hands
- You Are My Lucky Star (from BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936 film) - Don Lockwood, Kathy Selden
- Moses Supposes (Music by Roger Edens. Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green) - Don Lockwood, Cosmo Brown
- Good Mornin' (from BABES INARMS film) - Don Lockwood, Kathy Selden, Cosmo Brown
- Singin' in the Rain (from HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929 film) - Don Lockwood
- (The) Wedding of the Painted Doll (from BROADWAY MELODY film) - Members of the Ensemble
- Rag Doll - Members of the Ensemble
- Temptation (from GOING HOLLYWOOD film) - Dora Baily, Dancers
- 'Takin' Miss Mary to the Ball (from ON AN ISLAND WITH YOU film) (Lyrics by Edward Heyman) - 2 members of the chorus
- Love Is Where You Find It (from THE KISSING BANDIT film) (Lyrics by Earl Brent) - Ensemble
- Would You? (from SAN FRANCISCO film) - Kathy Selden
- Broadway Rhythm (from BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936 film) - The Company
- Blue Prelude (Music and Lyrics by Joe Bishop and Gordon Jenkins) - The Company
- What's Wrong with Me? (from THE KISSING BANDIT film) (Music by Nacio Herb Brown. Lyrics by Edward Heyman) - Lina Lamont
- Would You? (reprise) - Kathy Selden
- You Are My Lucky Star (reprise) - Don Lockwood, Kathy Selden, Company
- Singin' in the Rain (reprise) - The Company
Reed I (piccolo/flute/clarinet/soprano sax/alto sax), Reed II (flute/clarinet/alto sax/ tenor sax), Reed III (flute/clarinet/tenor sax), Reed IV (clarinet/bass clarinet/baritone sax), 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 percussion, keyboard, 5 violins, viola, 2 cellos, double bass
Original London Cast Recording - First Night OCR CD6013