Interviews with cast/creatives of Singin’ in the Rain

I was lucky enough to attend the media call for Singin’ in the Rain, well, both of them, in fact. I always find interviews interesting, so if you’re interested in what went on with the cast and creatives during the call, read below. You can also see more Singin’ in the Rain related things as seen on this blog.

SPOILERS

For more information and tickets, go to: http://singin.com.au/


Cameron WENNAssociate Director

Cameronon the show
“This show started in Chichester Festival Theatre in the UK five years ago, transferred to the west end and played at the Palace Theatre for 18 months before a UK tour. It has since been received extremely well all over the world, in countries such as Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and, most recently, Moscow in Russia, in Russian.”

Cameronon the song Good Morning
“It’s set in a different location than in the movie. It’s actually set outside on Hollywood Boulevard, but you’ll see some references to the movie within the choreography. There will be two park benches on stage – there will be, at the end of the number, a park bench tip, similar to the couch tip at the end of the number in the movie.”

Cameronon how the magic of the water is done on stage
“You may see (above the set) three rain bars that have pipes running from the tanks off stage that filter the water and heat it. Pipes run up into the roof, across the stage and they will rain onto the stage during the number. At the same time, underneath the floor, which you might notice is slightly sunken, which we call the trough, there is a shallow pool of water that we fill from beneath to allow us to have a little layer of water on the actual stage surface itself, to create the splashing that we so associate with the number Singin’ in the Rain.

The number happens at the very end of the first act, because after the flooding and rain we have to dry the stage ready for the second act. It takes several minutes for the flood to come up, but you will notice that this floor looks like floorboards, but between the floorboards there are gaps, which allow the water to both rise through the floor and drain back down into the floor. The water itself, 12,000 litres of it every show, is obviously recycled. We can’t be using up water in a drought situation. But obviously it also needs to be safe for the cast to be under it and in it, so it is UV treated and filtered, so that it is safe and doesn’t create any lurgies for the cast.”


Adam GARCIADon Lockwood

Adamon the technical aspects of the production
“I guess that’s the marvelousness and the wonderful of theatre, is it takes so much technical effort, prowess and expertise to makes something look like a magic world. And being in the rain, and dancing around, you hardly think that there are sound people trying to make sure your mic’s working through being soaked. There are lighting effects, there’s people trying to literally keep the rain going – but that’s the wonderful concede of theatre – to create magic, so that and all the other parts, it’s interesting magic.”

Adam on what he does during interval
“I have a shower because the water is chlorinated, so that’s nice to not have on your skin when you go into a second act – just for the sake of your co-stars, who would smell chlorine on you. Get the red out of my eyes, also from the chlorine. Basically it’s an ice shower, because I can’t sweat 15 minutes later when I come on in my next scene. So, nice ice shower, get dressed, get on and do it.”

Adam on if he enjoys getting to splash people with water
“Everything about this job is! It’s one of those things I get paid to make-believe, which is pretty fantastic! And in the end, people want to get splashed. They’re paying money to sit down in the front row. As soon as you hear the first thunder strike in the production, all the ponchos go on”

Adamon what makes the film so beloved
“At the heart of it, is heart. All it is is joy. It’s about someone falling in love. There’s nothing sinister (and) nothing dark about it. It’s a magic world, and hopefully, what we can do, is replicate what happens in the movie – which is, people come into a world and look inside a bubble and see something that makes them feel great.”


Erika HEYNATZ Lina Lamont

Erikaon her character
“She’s not as dumb as she seems. I actually think she’s a little smarter than she’s given credit for. Just because the sound doesn’t fit the era, doesn’t mean that she hasn’t got a voice. Voice is a very unique thing, but she’s certainly got an abrasive sound, which doesn’t lend to the transition from silent film to talkies.”

“I haven’t had a chance to explore a comedic role before. It is as fun on stage as it is backstage in terms of the preparation. I’ve had a lot of fun preparing. I don’t want to just breeze through unrecognized. I want to get in and cause a bit of a stir. So it’s actually fabulous for that reason.”

Erikaon creating the sound of her character
“Creating that sound takes a lot of energy, so certainly I’m not out at bars late at night – that’s for sure. I’m having to be really protective of (my voice), but at the same time, because it requires that kind of energy it means you’re up the whole time. It’s great.”

Erikaon keeping up the voice of her character throughout the production
“Well, we’ll see how she goes (laughs). I think part of the way I keep it up is it’s such a fun show to perform, and I can see the impact that it has on the people that I’m acting on the stage with – so I’m sure other people in the audience are covering their ears and wilted back in their seats, but that’s the desired effect. It’s supposed to leave a mark. It’s one thing to get the sound right, but it’s then to have the volume of it as well, because it’s not just enough for it to be very high and annoying. It’s got to be really loud.”

Erikaon juggling having a family and a career
“The schedule is very very strict. It takes a lot of planning. It is difficult – because obviously with a voice and recovery, you need a little sleep, and a 5 month old is not that interested in sleeping – but I’m also playing milk maid so that’s also another drain of energy, but the beautiful thing is, I often get the opportunity to bring Charlie here – and to have a child that is exposed to music, storytelling and costume. Everyone in theatre wants to have a cuddle and a kiss, so I think it balances itself out.

(It) doesn’t matter how tired I get, I get home and there’s that bundle of love, so it’s actually something that enables you to switch on, from the adrenaline sport that is theatre, and wind down, kind of ground yourself again, so it’s a beautiful blessing. Adam’s got a little baby as well, she is 7-8 months, so we’ve got a couple of babes. Adam and I have comparing notes on parenthood – he’s a step ahead of me, so I’m just catching up. He’s got all the tips.”

Erikaon if she would like her son to be a theatre actor
“I will encourage any creative pursuit. I wouldn’t say I’m in any hurry to be a stage mum and push him onto the stage, but I think if it involves splashing around in puddles, he’s gonna get in there.”


Jack CHAMBERSCosmo Brown

Jackon the musical
“Yes, I do. There’s something in the music. Like for me, like whenever I hear the music in the show, I get goosebumps. I remember when I got told that I was cast in the show, when I listened to the soundtrack again, I actually got a little teary in my eyes, just because there’s something in that music that’s so classic and old school that really resonates with me. It takes me to a happy place.”

Jackon doing Singin’ in the Rain for the second time
“First time was back in 1999 in Brisbane. I did an amateur theater production of it with Ocean Theatre Company and I played young Cosmo Brown. I was on stage for what, ten minutes max, but I have really fond memories of that. I used to sit side stage and just watch the cast do their thing, and it is what inspired me to pursue this career, so it’s really sentimental for me to do the full circle and play Cosmo as an adult (laughs).”

Jackon if the role of young Cosmo Brown previously helped him play Cosmo Brown today
“I adore the musical and I know the musical very very well, so knowing the musical has helped me. I know the style of the show and I knew Cosmo quite well, but obviously I was a lot younger then, so I was a bit more innocent and didn’t know what to bring. I didn’t know that I was going to be Cosmo in the future. I just know the musical very well so it just came naturally for me.”

Jackon the what it’s like being in the theatre
“It’s beautiful. It’s that extra step that we needed to take because you always get to a certain point in rehearsals where you’re like, ‘okay, I need to do my hair now’, ‘I need to pop on that costume, so you can start figuring out mannerisms like where are my pockets, what tie can I fix’ and things like that. So once that happens, you snap right into the role so it’s really magical for us.”

Jackon the what it’s like doing the bench tip in the musical
“It was a little nerve wracking the first time, because it’s a bench. There’s little gaps in (the bench and) I’m in tap shoes too, so it’s a bit slippery but it’s easy now. We actually enjoy that bit because at that point it’s the end of the routine so we go, ‘yes, and we can breathe’. And we hope the audience really claps for a long time there, so we can keep breathing, and capture our breathe before the scene continues (laughs).”

Jackon the number, Make Em’ Laugh
“I can’t tell you everything about it, but it’s a full on number. That’s for sure! It’s probably my most physical number in the show. The best way to say it, is think of a child entering a props room, and costumes and then just running havoc – that’s the best way for me to describe it, so I’m constantly falling down (and) I’m running into things. It’s just a whole number of accidents (laughs).”

Jackon how he keeps his energy up
“That’s a great question! (laughs) Well, obviously, rehearsals gets us show fit and prepares us for what we have to have for the show – but the orchestra are astounding and they play beautifully and that gives us an energy from within – it comes from somewhere, even when you feel like you’ve got nothing left, there’s something else you can give. And also, the audience, so there’s that little bit of adrenaline that kicks in and you just go for it.”

Jackon what makes the show so special
“Literally when I watch the movie I’m smiling the whole entire time. Little times when I’m doing the show I sometimes glance into the audience and I see a smile, and I think that’s really special. It’s so uplifting. It’s joyful. It’s charming. And in terms of a story line, it’s nothing too deep and difficult – it’s just pure escapism and that’s what I think is magical about it and the fact that you get wet (laughs).”


Gretel SCARLETTKathy Selden

Gretelon the look of her character and costume
“It’s different. I put it on and I’m suddenly I become a different person. And that’s really helpful to the character because she’s not a ditzy blonde. I’m not a ditzy blonde anyway in real life, I don’t think anyway (laughs) I like to think that I’m intelligent (laughs) It’s nice to pop this on and all of a sudden go back in time.”

Gretelon the look of her costume
“With 1920s style, as you can see, they’re completely different body shapes. The costumes were made to be looser and that they have movement to them. So the minute we put them on, we were twirling in them going, ‘oh, this is nice’. You become the character based on what were wearing. We got to that point in rehearsals, we needed the costumes and wigs and stuff to get into the character, because it takes us back to the history the time and place and the environment. It’s the way girls sit. They didn’t sit with crossed legs, because it was not the thing to do back then, so we’re knees together and all of a sudden you’re trying to keep your pleats straight, and you’ve got to take it all into account so it has really affected the way we move (laughs).”

Gretelon the water element
“The minute we got out, it sort of takes your breath away. And I think it’s the same with the audience – as the minute the downpour starts, you have some people who just start to applaud in the audience. That’s what it feels like – it’s amazing! The thing is we have to be careful where we step on the stage (but) now we’re getting to the point where we can trust where we’re moving.”

Gretelon the differences playing Sandy in Grease and Kathy in Singin’ in the Rain
“No more black outfit. Oh damn, I’m so disappointed (laughs). I don’t have to be like sewn in, almost every show, was like corseted in and clipped in some shows or getting it over a microphone – so yes, it’s nice to be not so exposed. (laughs) It’s beautiful to come into this character. She’s so different and she’s still the ray of sunshine, which Sandy was, but she’s just got a little bit more to her. She’s got a fantastic script, which is so close to the movie, and that’s what the audience (wants to) see. They want to see something that they are very familiar with.”

Gretelon if people recognise her after the show when she’s no longer in costume
“I think with the help of Grease, a lot of people are quite familiar with my face now, which is quite nice because I get to come out (at the stage door) and not stare at people and look a little unfamiliar. Plus it’s nice with the program, I’ve got my blonde head shot. I’m blonde out on the signs (too) so I’m like, ‘Thank you! People know who I am without this wig!'(laughs)

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