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Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
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Indianapolis, IN
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Beef & Boards 'Singin’ in the Rain' a Splashing Good Time

by Rita Kohn
April 16, 2018
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
9301 N. Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268
317-872-9664
Indianapolis-based Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre recreates a snappy “Singin’ in the Rain” just as Central Indiana is engulfed in endless April showers [and snow] and, serendipitously when Hollywood is embroiled in a deluge of revelations surrounding how one gets ahead in the movie industry.

This celebratory Beef & Boards 45th Season was set long before current events suddenly made this original film and subsequent stage musical adaptation relevant — only in this 1920s story, filmed in 1952 by MGM, it’s the leading actress who is bullying the industry icons along with her co-star, and it’s the ingenue who is getting gentlemanly treatment, and it’s the gossip columnist who is pandering to industry untruths. Hmm and hmm.

That said, the mantra of live theater, “Sit back, relax and enjoy the show,” is the spirit moving this reprise, which delivers on all points that reviewers found below par in the Broadway version that opened July 2, 1985, with Indiana-born Twyla Tharp making her directing and choreographing debut.

This Beef & Boards cast is genuinely dimensional.The sparks fly on every level — hate, love, truth, falsity, success, failure, honesty, lies, friendship, spite — in a script billed as lighthearted comedy, yet these are concepts fully integrated into relationships and a system geared to attaining dreams, riches and fame. One can sit back and relax, or one can sit on edge of seat and experience something deeper about who we are and what we value. I like to believe the screenplay team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green leaned to the latter while making sure they delivered on the primary mantra to entertain.

Who remembers song writers Nacho Herb Brown and Arthur Freed? No matter; for the past sixty-six years worldwide we’ve been singing their ballads and love songs, and “Moses supposes…”

“Singin’ in the Rain” is practically a universal anthem for the unmitigated expression of being in love preceding the standout songs that glowed in “South Pacific” and “West Side Story”.

Ron Morgan’s choreography meticulously interfaced with Eddy Curry’s stage direction to keep the Hollywood on-set/off-set story culture tilting just short of ‘uh-huh’ and to allow believability.

The cast brings dancing to this show’s demanding level. Of course, the idea of a dancing cavalier makes sense in the context of “Make ‘em Laugh” — because every number escalates from there. Vaudeville is alive and well.

Timothy Ford as Don Lockwood was the backbone of the show, turning us from sneering at his protestations of ‘integrity’ to thinking, well what do you know, he is the guy he says he is.

Sarah Hund disdained playing Lina Lamont as a caricature, instead she artfully brought forward someone for whom we can have respect for because she has been “used” by the powers of industry to further their means and now she’s demanding payback.

Kimberly Doreen Burns as Kathy Selden sparkled with more layers than the cake she springs from. She swings us into seeing the birth of Aphrodite as a chorus girl’s sacred symbol.

But it’s Buddy Reeder, home again in his Indiana-birth state, as Cosmo Brown, who wins us over heart and soul. He’s the unselfish team member who delivers the winning point and applauds everyone else.

These leads are backed by a cast of quality hoofers and character actors who take on the wiles of whims of Hollywood.

And, yes, it rains onstage.

Like all good Hollywood endings, in this production Ford knows exactly how to "play" with the audience to show what happens when a conceited leading man recognizes he’s a mere mortal head-over-heels in love with a chorine whose talents make him look good on and off screen.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre's “Singin’ in the Rain” continues through May 26, 2018 at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, 9301 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Visit beefandboards.com
for details. Use #bbrain2018 on social media.
Good Morning: Cosmo Brown (Buddy Reeder), left, and Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), right, dance with Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns) as they sing the famous “Good Morning” in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of 'Singin’ in the Rain,' now on stage through May 26.

Good Morning: Cosmo Brown (Buddy Reeder), left, and Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), right, dance with Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns) as they sing the famous “Good Morning” in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of "Singin’ in the Rain," now on stage through May 26.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Singin’ in the Rain: Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), doesn’t mind the downpour as he’s “Singin’ in the Rain” during Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of 'Singin’ in the Rain,' now on stage through May 26.

Singin’ in the Rain: Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), doesn’t mind the downpour as he’s “Singin’ in the Rain” during Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of "Singin’ in the Rain," now on stage through May 26.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


Trio with umbrellas: From left: Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns), and Cosmo Brown (Buddy Reeder) are ready for Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of 'Singin’ in the Rain,' now on stage through May 26.

Trio with umbrellas: From left: Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns), and Cosmo Brown (Buddy Reeder) are ready for Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of "Singin’ in the Rain," now on stage through May 26.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig


You Were Meant for Me: Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), right, sets the scene to declare “You Were Meant for Me” to Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns) in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of 'Singin’ in the Rain,' now on stage through May 26.

You Were Meant for Me: Don Lockwood (Timothy Ford), right, sets the scene to declare “You Were Meant for Me” to Kathy Selden (Kimberly Doreen Burns) in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of "Singin’ in the Rain," now on stage through May 26.

Photo © & courtesy of Patricia Rettig

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