Faithful ‘Singin’ ’ Revival Even Supplies the Rain


Under the assured direction and choreography of Jon Engstrom, Michael Guarnera is a suitably dreamy Don Lockwood, BK Kennelly has the proper elastic physicality for Cosmo, and the rain really falls in the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities’ sparkling revival of “Singin’ in the Rain,” at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

On opening weekend, like a heroine from another famous musical, Holly Bosil flew to Los Angeles to take over the role of Kathy Selden for Christina Saffran Ashford, who had become ill during the final dress rehearsal. Bosil had played Kathy in Engstrom’s staging at Cabrillo Music Theatre in Thousand Oaks in March. Ashford resumed the role Tuesday.

This musical was translated from the movies to the stage by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who did the original screenplay. Unlike, say, “Fame,” this is a faithful adaptation. Engstrom keeps the ties to the movie strong, as does costume designer David Profeta.


Guarnera has the joyful enthusiasm of a man falling in love and welcoming the crossover from silent pantomime to the song and dance of the talkies. Bosil’s performance was perky and graceful.

Cynthia Ferrer turns in a confident comedic performance as Lina Lamont, a silent movie star whose voice is like nails on a chalkboard amplified. There are some technical glitches, from a typo in the silent movie portions to the rain almost drowning Guarnera’s voice, but these are minor quibbles in this two-hours-plus of great family entertainment.


“Singin’ in the Rain,” Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 2 p.m. Ends Dec. 19. $30 to $45. (310) 372-4477. Running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes.