Noth­ing rains on this pa­rade

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Tanya MacNaughton

AUS­TRALIAN tour­ing pro­duc­tion Sin­gin’ in the Rain is only too fa­mil­iar with the adage ‘The show must go on’ af­ter los­ing star Adam Gar­cia to in­jury dur­ing its Mel­bourne sea­son.

Thank­fully mu­sic theatre per­form­ers Ro­han Browne and Grant Almi­rall both had ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing Gar­cia’s lead­ing role of Don Lock­wood be­fore, al­beit in other pro­duc­tions, and with very lit­tle rehearsal filled his danc­ing shoes.

Browne, from Mel­bourne, and Almi­rall, from Port El­iz­a­beth, share the role, do­ing four per­for­mances each a week, and said the split was out of ne­ces­sity.

“We liken each show to a marathon,” Browne said.

“A marathon run­ner wouldn’t run a marathon every day, or do two a day, and we have eight shows a week. The only time you’re off stage is to change shoes or costume, take a sip of water and then you’re back on again.

“It’s bet­ter for us and the au­di­ence be­cause we can give every­thing we have every sin­gle show that we’re on for, be­cause we have the re­cov­ery time.”

The pair, who are both in their mid-30s, joked they would like to have seen if the star of the 1952 film, Gene Kelly, would have suc­ceeded in the role if he had to do Sin­gin’ in the Rain in one take.

“In the movie, they got so many chances to do the scene over and over again un­til they got it right, then af­ter­wards take a break and move on,” Almi­rall said.

“We have to do it all in one go, in one even­ing; it’s one shot with the au­di­ence.”

Work­ing up a sweat means the fa­mous Sin­gin’ in the Rain rou­tine which fin­ishes the first act and fea­tures 6000 litres of water (2000 litres fall from above and 4000 litres flood from be­low) is a wel­come mo­ment.

“I re­mem­ber the first time do­ing the scene in a rehearsal on stage,” Almi­rall said.

“They brought out the pi­anist and switched on the water and said ‘Go’. I re­mem­ber think­ing ‘What has my life come to?’ be­cause I was stand­ing on stage, it’s raining on me and I have to sing and dance in it.”

Browne, who was last in Perth per­form­ing with Hugh Jack­man in his Broad­way to Oz show, said he loved the rain.

“It’s great be­cause you would never ac­tu­ally do that in real life,” Browne said.

“You would get an­noyed be­ing caught in the rain and on the way some­where. And imag­ine what would hap­pen if you splashed strangers in the street.

“You can’t hear much when you’re on­stage when you sing the open­ing line be­cause you have the um­brella over your head and it’s pound­ing with rain, so you don’t hear any­thing apart from the orches­tra.

“We’ve both sat in the au­di­ence while the other is per­form­ing and you can feel the nos­tal­gia.

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