After a weekend of rainy weather, showers will again return to Sherman next weekend, but only to fall on the stage of Sherman High School where a cast of choir and theater students will be putting on its spring production of the classic musical “Singin’ in the Rain.”
“We have been working on this production since January,” Sherman High School Choir Director Anna Clarkson said. “We are bulldozing right on through to get it out and get it ready for the audience. It will be a great show.”
The play is adapted from the 1952 film, which details the story of three performers who must comically deal with the advent of talking pictures in the early 1920s as they attempt to make their next big movie. The original film starred Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds.
Clarkson said the decision to produce “Singin’ in the Rain” actually came from the cast of 16 student performers. Following the group’s fall production of Cinderella, Clarkson said she wanted to challenge each of her students to come up with one show they wanted to bring to the stage and then present a detailed plan in order to do so. After assessing their cast, costume, and financial needs, the students chose the musical as their seasonal production.
“It’s a good learning experience,” Clarkson said of the project. “I feel like it’s important for them to know a show from the director’s perspective and what we go through. A lot of these kids perform often, so we want them to be educated about all sides of it. And I’ll tell you, they’ve sure learned a lot.”
As she stood outside the theater Thursday, directing students to get in their costume and get on stage, Clarkson said, “Singin’ in the Rain” has remained a favorite musical of viewers and audiences, because its story and tunes are simply timeless.
“It’s a classic,” Clarkson said. “When people think musicals, they think of ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ and they can hear that song so clearly in their head. They remember the characters and the tap dancing bits.”
But those dancing numbers have been a bit of a challenge for SHS senior Isaiah George, who plays the part of protagonist Don Lockwood, a silent film star and former performer and stuntman.
“I’m not much of dancer, but unfortunately Gene Kelly was,” George said, referring to the actor and choreographer who first and famously played Lockwood. “So, it’s been a little difficult to work my through some of those routines, but there are some scenes where I was allowed to kind of make up my own dance while everybody else does their own thing, so that’s been fun. “
George also said there will be plenty of fun to go around the auditorium.
“I know the audience will have fun, and we’ll be interacting with the crowd maybe even a little more that they might expect,” George said.
Fellow senior Emily Ellis said the crowd will likely get a good laugh from her character, Lina Lamont. Ellis said the silent film star character is blissfully unaware of her obviously-off-pitch voice, and Ellis has had to focus on that voice for the good of her character and the overall play.
“I’m a vocal person through and through, so pulling off the awful, crazy voice is so weird for me,” Ellis said. “The first few weeks my voice would go in and out, so I’ve just been trying to keep it together enough so that I can pull off her voice when it comes to me for the show.”
While she might not love her character’s voice, Ellis said she had no problem slipping into Lamont’s wardrobe and wild personality.
“I think my costumes for this show are exquisite,” Ellis said. “They are amazing, and I love putting them on and being a different person, even if it’s just for a little bit. I like my personality, but it’s just fun to be a sassy showgirl sometimes. Theater allows you to be whoever you want to be.”
Following a few more rehearsals, Ellis said she and the cast will be ready for opening night next week and encouraged those looking for some weekend entertainment to get tickets to the show.
“It’s a great family show,” Ellis said. “There’s definitely something fun for everybody.”
“Singin’ in the Rain” will be performed on the Sherman High School theater stage at 7 p.m. Friday and at 2.p.m Saturday and Sunday. The show will last roughly one hour. Reserved tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. For additional information visit the Sherman High School Musical Theatre Facebook page.