Singin’ in the Rain debuted last night at Derby Dinner Playhouse, and it may be the best performance I’ve seen thus far at the 40 year old dinner theater. Set in the late 1920s, this play follows the careers of silent film stars as they make the transition to talking pictures. Justin Ostergard plays the main character Don Lockwood. Don is a hugely successful silent film star alongside Lina Lamont, portrayed by Jilian Prefach, who plays his leading lady so often that even she believes the news of their engagement in the gossip rags.
When their studio is pressured into making talkies due to the success of their rivals, Don and Lina are suddenly thrust into their new responsibilities as actors; however, Lina’s shrill and annoying voice ruins the new talking picture, and it becomes apparent that the studio could soon become the laughing stock of the film industry. Don and his friend Cosmo Brown (Matthew Brennan) hatch a plan to replace Lina’s voice with the voice of Don’s true love interest Kathy (Kayla Peabody), whom Lina hates.
Numbers “Fit as a Fiddle” and “Good Morning” showcased the actors’ tap dancing talents, and “Singin’ in the Rain” is always a fun scene due to the special effects. Ostergard (Don) and Peabody (Kathy) had great chemistry and were very believable as a couple enthralled by their newfound love. Brennan as Cosmo was by far my favorite character.
An excellent dancer, Brennan also used the silly traits of his character to his advantage with expert comedic timing. Prefach stole the show with her superb performance as Lina. Prefach recently starred in another Derby Dinner show, Little Shop of Horrors, where she played Audrey. It seems as though she has a knack for silly voices!
Singin’ in the Rain runs through May 18th. Tickets include the show, a delicious buffet, and pre-show entertainment by the Footnotes. Their “rain” medley was very fun to watch!
With fun familiar songs, magnificent tap dancing, and the intoxicating energy of the 1920s, Singin’ in the Rain is sure to be a hit! Warning: if you’re in the front row, expect to get wet!