‘Singin’ In The Rain’

The representation of a motion picture classic will soon grace the stage of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.

Jamestown High School is set to present “Singin’ In The Rain” as its annual musical. The production will be held at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Singin’ In The Rain” follows main characters such as: Don Lockwood, played by Alex Simmons; Lina Lamont, played by Emily Isaacson; Kathy Seldon, played by Kirstie Hanson; and Cosmo Brown, played by Cameron Hurst. Nearly 60 JHS students have contributed to the production, including: Steve Brombacher, who plays R.F. Simpson; Ryan Whisner, who plays Roscoe Dexter; Jacob Dietzer, who plays Rod; Dora Baily, who plays Jenae Pryce; and Gregg Rhodes, who serves as production tenor.

According to Michele Constantino, director, Lockwood and Lamont are successful actors of the silent silver screen, however when technology allows audio to become part of the film experience, the not-so-vocally-talented Lamont’s role is threatened. Lockwood, who has fallen in love with Kathy Seldon, a talented, young triple-threat of a lady, approaches Monumental Pictures with the idea of dubbing Seldon’s voice over Lamont’s. When Lamont gets wind of the idea, she threatens lawsuits.

“The level of production of Jamestown High School musicals is always very high and professional – it’s a beautiful show,” Constantino said. “But, what makes ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ stand out is the filming we did- it puts a whole different spin on things.”

JHS’ version of “Singin’ In The Rain” is a complex production that incorporates film into the musical. Movies were filmed at the Robert H. Jackson Center and the Sheldon House, which provided the grandeur needed for the Royal Rascal and Dancing Cavalier scenes. The students involved in the films learned to fence for the scenes. JHS student John Brown acted as cameraman for the filming, and he also provided support for the editing process.

“The storyline follows the advent of ‘talking pictures,'” Constantino said. “So, at the very beginning, we see Don and Lina, the stars of silent film, attending the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre for the grand opening of their latest picture – we see the closing minutes of that on the screen.”

The production features live performances by JHS students of a variety of tunes including: “Fit As A Fiddle,” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Good Mornin,'” “You Were Meant For Me,” “Broadway Rhythm,” “Gotta Dance,” “Beautiful Girl,” “You Are My Lucky Star” and “Singin’ In The Rain.”

According to Len Barry, director of marketing and communications for the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, the staff at the Reg are excited about hosting Jamestown High School’s performance of “Singin’ In The Rain.”

“The Jamestown High School musical performance offers local audiences a taste of classic Broadway productions in this annual tradition,” Barry said.

General admission to the musical is $10 for adults, and $8 for students up to through high school. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts box office, by calling 484-7070, or online at www.reglenna.com.

BEHIND THE SCENES

In addition to acting as a platform for talented high school students, the Jamestown High School musical serves to provide area residents the opportunity to get involved in the behind the scenes portion of the production.

Choreography for the show involves several instructors, such as Kortney Young and Gabbie Patinode of SUNY Fredonia. Along with Brett Fallon, of Erie, the instructors have provided JHS student dance captains Kirstie Hanson, Cameron Hurst and La’ Cherrie Pettibon with helpful support, Constantino said.

Vocal direction for the show was provided by Melanie Gritters, the orchestra was conducted by Gina Wakefield and JHS student Zac Ricker acted as rehearsal accompanist and keyboardist for the pit orchestra.

Costumes for the production were coordinated and crafted by Sue Kent, Tamsin Pope and a crew of sewing ladies.

Stage manager for the production is Mario Angeli, who will work with lighting designer and technical designer Scott Barton in an attempt to provide a smoothly run performance. Barton is a representative of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local No. 266.

According to Constantino, one of the showcases of the production will be the rain set, which was designed by Joe Shelters. The set is 24 feet wide, 8 feet deep and at least 14 feet tall. It features a water containment system, and it produces a lot of rain. The set was painted by JHS students Natalie Shafer, Madison Dineen, Karighan Walker and Ryan Whisner, as well as Nina and Russ Bell.

“I think the message behind this production for students is that you can do anything if you put your mind and heart to it,” Constantino said. “From the standpoint of the audience – it’s pure entertainment.”