R2P does Singing In The Rain in Newfield
After weeks of work by the amazing Running To Places theatre company, Singing In The Rain was presented last weekend at Newfield High School. Starring in the production were A J Newman as Don Lockwood, Marissa Mekos as Kathy Selden, Vanessa Anderson as Lina Lamont, and Tommy Strawderman as Cosmo Brown. All gave fantastic performances. And a great supporting cast including Charlotte Senders, Joel Beckman, Cacidy Rosemann, and a host of others filled the stage with great action, song and dance.
The production was big, complicated, and a huge undertaking with a massive set piece affectionately called “the beast” that was rotated by a host of stage hands and cast as scenes changed; an entirely separate silent movie production that ran at several segments of the show, and actual “rain” on stage for the “Singing In The Rain” dance number with A J. A fantastic array of costumes constantly arriving on the stage dazzled the audience with the sparkle, color, and feel of an early twentieth century setting, and the great piano and percussion accompaniment by music director Jon Riss and percussionist Caleb White gave even more to the period feel of the whole production.
The show was very high energy with musical numbers like “Fit As A Fiddle” and “Make ‘Em Laugh” with A J and Tommy that left me exhausted just watching them, and bigger ensemble production numbers with great dance work by James Potter, Marissa Mekos, and a host of other amazing singing, dancing, tapping cast members. All of these kids just shine with talent and energy. And hats off to Todd Peterson, choreographer, for his tireless efforts in shaping and directing these dance numbers. What a job.
Day after day, these kids gave it their all. The stars, mostly 7th and 8th graders, showed incredible stamina, talent, and resourcefulness. Great direction by Joey Steinhagen brought out such wonderful expression and focused performances from these fantastic kids who simply love to perform and gain so much in growth, experience, self-confidence, and friendship through production after production.
I was particularly impressed with the performances of Vanessa Anderson who was so consistent, humorous, and just downright lovable as Lina Lamont, in spite of her character’s flaws. You just couldn’t help but love her. Can’t wait to see what Vanessa does next.
So to all the cast and crew, fantastic job! To Gail, Joey, Todd, Jon, Molly, and everyone else behind the scenes, WOW! Another amazing performance. Thank you all for your dedication, tireless hours given so freely, and love of these kids. Thanks to all the sponsors for their support. Our community is so much better for all you do. Thanks for another great show. Can’t wait for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”.
All images are Copyright © George Cannon.
Photos from this production and other Running To Places productions are available at http://imageguy.zenfolio.com.