Singin' in the Rain offered Sardis secondary

Zach Power is Don Lockwood and Chelsea Biegel is Kathy Selden in Sardis secondary
Zach Power is Don Lockwood and Chelsea Biegel is Kathy Selden in Sardis secondary's production of Singin' in the Rain, which runs Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 nightly at 7 p.m., and 2 p.m. on Dec. 1.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

Get out your umbrellas.

The well-loved musical Singin' in the Rain is being presented by Sardis secondary musical theatre Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.

"We're taking on the classic musical with a brand-new cast," said director Alison Guy.

Singin' in the Rain, often described as one of the best musicals ever made, is the lighthearted story of Hollywood performers dealing with their company going through the transition from silent film to the age of the talking film, known as the "talkies."

A total of 24 performers from GWG will be singing and dancing their way into the hearts of the audience, assisted by a large stage crew and set builders and about a dozen in the orchestra, directed by Kevin Biegel.

"Some of the performers had to learn tap dancing from scratch. Several had never danced or been in a musical," she said.

Choreographer is Karen Mason Albert, who has almost created "miracles in getting non-dancers dancing," Guy added.

"They're really excited about the production."

She highlighted the tireless effort by students Graeme Potts and Zach Power, who play the male leads, as Cosmo Brown and Don Lockwood.

"They researched the era, and worked so hard to become performers from vaudeville of the late 1920s and early 30s."

The real challenge for any director of a young cast is mentoring them all into semi-professional shape in a matter of months.

"It's really starting to blend, but then I've always pushed the students to reach beyond the limits of a high school production," she said. "And I've always believed there's not that much difference between our kids and the ones who end up on Broadway. It's opportunity. We have a huge pool of talent in Chilliwack of young people are very musical and creative."

How to present rain on stage for the famous singing in the rain scene actually became a technical concern.

"They created a rain-maker but then we were worried about the electrical issues, so we might have to go with projected rain," Guy said.

The film version of Singin' in the Rain starred Gene Kelly, who also directed the movie and provided the famous choreography that has him singing the title tune while twirling an umbrella in the rain.

Costumes are by Ghezlaine Larochelles, and Delores Doerksen, whose dedication and ability to fill "countless" demands has been much appreciated, said the director.

Every dollar spent on the $12 tickets goes to next year's musical theatre production, as well as fine arts scholarships.

Singin' in the Rain at SSS, by Sardis Secondary musical theatre, Nov. 27 to Dec 1, doors 6:30, show 7 p.m. First come, first served. Tickets $12 at the SSS office and London Drugs. Matinee on Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.

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