Adapted from the 1952 movie of the same name, the plot closely adheres to the original. Set in Hollywood in the waning days of the silent screen era, it focuses on romantic lead Don Lockwood, his sidekick Cosmo Brown, aspiring actress Kathy Selden, and Lockwood's leading lady Lina Lamont, whose less-than-dulcet vocal tones make her an unlikely candidate for stardom in talking pictures.
|Singin' in the Rain|
Original Cast Recording
|Music||Nacio Herb Brown|
Singin' in the Rain|
by Adolph Green
1983 West End |
1994 UK Tour
2000 West End revival
2001 Australian Tour
2011 Chichester Festival Theatre
2012 West End revival
2013 Second UK Tour
2016 Second Australian Tour
2016 Oslo, Norway
The original West End production, directed by Tommy Steele and choreographed by Peter Gennaro, opened on June 30, 1983 at the London Palladium, where it ran until September 1985. The original cast included Steele as Don, Roy Castle as Cosmo, Danielle Carson as Kathy, and Sarah Payne as Lina and Julia. The original film's vocal score was embellished with additional tunes by Comden, Green, and Roger Edens, Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh, George and Ira Gershwin, Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting, and Cole Porter.
Singin' in the Rain opened on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre on July 2, 1985 and closed on May 18, 1986 after 367 performances and 38 previews. Directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, the scenic design was by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Ann Roth, and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton. The cast included Don Correia as Don, Mary D'Arcy as Kathy, Peter Slutsker as Cosmo, and Faye Grant as Lina. The musical was dramatically revamped.
The 1983 London Palladium production was remounted in 1994 for an extensive tour of the United Kingdom, which ran until December 1995. The new production, again directed by Steele, starred Paul Nicholas as Don, Shona Lindsay as Kathy, Tony Howes as Cosmo with Sarah Payne reprising her role as Lina from the original cast. Supporting cast included Matt Zimmerman and Mark Donovan.
A new production of the musical was staged at the Olivier Theatre (Royal National Theatre), from June 2, 2000 to July 20, 2000 and again from December 18, 2000 to January 27, 2001. This production was a transfer from the West Yorkshire production, which ran from December 1999 to February 2000. The cast featured Zoe Hart as Kathy, Rebecca Thornhill as Lina, and Paul Robinson as Don. The direction was by Jude Kelly, and choreography was by Stephen Mear. Thornhill received an Olivier Award nomination for her performance.
The musical played at Sadler's Wells Theatre from July 29, 2004 to September 4, 2004, with direction by Paul Kerryson and choreography by Adam Cooper (dancer), who also played the lead role of Don Lockwood. Cooper's choreography was nominated for the 2004 Critic's Circle National Dance award. The show later transferred to Leicester Haymarket.
The show was revived at the 2011 Chichester Festival Theatre, starring Adam Cooper, Daniel Crossley and Scarlett Strallen. It was choreographed by Andrew Wright who was nominated for an Olivier Award and won the WhatsOnStage award for his work. The show received positive reviews, and then transferred to London's West End, at the Palace Theatre, in February 2012, where Cooper, Crossley and Strallen all reprised their roles.  From 18 February 2013 the role of Kathy Selden was played by Louise Bowden. The production closed on 8 June 2013. A cast recording of Singin' in the Rain was issued in 2012. The same production, with Adam Cooper, played in November 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.
The rain,which first appeared it the Chichester Production, was designed and installed by specialists Water Sculptures Limited and the rain system features in the show's ongoing Pan Asia tour (2015) and the Moscow 2015 production.
A UK tour followed the show closing on the West End starting on November 9 at the Manchester Opera House.
The Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris presented a new production from March 12–26, 2015, and again from November 27 to January 17, 2016, directed by Robert Carsen, choreography by Stephen Mear, and costumes by Anthony Powell. This production had been reportedly moving to Broadway in 2016. Playbill reported that the "Broadway cast will be a combination of new and existing cast members from the Châtelet staging." No further details (theatre, dates) were announced.
This production faithfully reproduces the dialogue and action of the film, with its songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed, and its famous splash-in-the-puddles, rain-drenched dance solo for Gene Kelly. A different production appeared on Broadway in 1985.
The New York Times reported in November 2015 that the Théâtre du Châtelet production would transfer to Broadway in the fall of 2016, produced by Weinstein Live Entertainment. However, the musical's opening on Broadway was reportedly delayed in 2016 "due to a lack of available theaters"; at that time, the musical was still expected to open on Broadway. In October 2017, Playbill reported that the Théâtre du Châtelet had informed the magazine that a Broadway transfer produced by Weinstein Live Entertainment would not take place.
Don Lockwood is a silent film star with humble roots as a musician, dancer and stunt man. Don barely tolerates his vapid leading lady, Lina Lamont, who is convinced that their screen romance is real. After the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, proves to be a smash hit, the head of the studio, R. F. Simpson, decides he has no choice but to convert the new Lockwood and Lamont film, The Dueling Cavalier, into a talkie. The production is beset with difficulties, by far the worst being Lina's comically grating voice.
After a disastrous test screening, Don's best friend, Cosmo Brown, comes up with the idea to overdub Lina's voice and they convince Simpson to turn The Dueling Cavalier into The Dancing Cavalier, a musical comedy film. Meanwhile, Don falls in love with an aspiring actress, Kathy Selden, who is providing the voice for Lina. When Lina finds out, she is furious and does everything possible to sabotage the romance. She maliciously demands that Kathy continue to provide her voice in all future films, but remain uncredited. An irate, but desperate Simpson is forced to agree; Kathy has no choice because she is under contract.
The premiere is a tremendous success. When the audience clamors for Lina to sing live, Don and Cosmo improvise and get Lina to lip-synch while Kathy sings into a second microphone while hidden behind the curtain. Unbeknownst to Lina, as she starts "singing", Don, Cosmo and Simpson gleefully raise the curtain behind her, revealing the deception. Kathy becomes a star, and Lina is finished.
The highlight of both productions was the recreation of the film's title tune sequence, complete with an on-stage rain shower. According to The New York Times review, "The rain is wonderful. It descends from the flies of the Gershwin Theater in sheets at the end of Act I, drenching a Santo Loquasto courtyard set that floats beneath a distant, twinkling Hollywoodland sign..."
Of the London "rain" effect, a reviewer wrote: "The stage downpour is so noisy -- and poses such a danger of microphone short circuits -- that Steele has to mime his song to a tape recording."
The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival (Auburn, N.Y.) put on a production of the show in the summer of 2013 and created an effect where it rained indoors. The Festival puts on the show every ten years.
|1983||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Musical||Sarah Payne||Nominated|
|1986||Tony Award||Best Book of a Musical||Betty Comden and Adolph Green||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Don Correia||Nominated|
|2001||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Musical Revival||Won|
|Best Actor in a Musical||Paul Robinson||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Rebecca Thornhill||Nominated|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Stephen Mear||Nominated|
|2012||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Musical||Scarlett Strallen||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical||Katherine Kingsley||Nominated|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Andrew Wright||Nominated|