New Village Arts Stages the Classic Singin' in the Rain

A production with Laughs, Fun, and Mean Tap Moves

A Blog View by Alejandra Enciso-Dardashti

Singin' In the Rain (Credit: Jason Sullivan/Dupla)
New Village Arts is truly setting the bar by producing ambitious, original, and moving pieces like The Ferryman1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas, and Desert Rock Garden. To celebrate its 21 season, the company based in Carlsbad staged Singin’ In The Rain based on the 1952 movie musical and adapted by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

The plot set in 1950s Hollywood where silent films are IT and actors Don Lockwood (Anthony Michael Vacio) and Lina Lamont (Audrey Ward) rule the scene. So much so, that there's a publicity stunt regarding the histrionic couple saying they are engaged in real life. Lina feeds off the rumor and lives for it but Don just looks the other way. In an attempt to walk by himself to a studio party and feel some normalcy, Don encounters a mob of fans and relies on stage actress Kathy Selden (Emma Nossal) who is reading a book on a park bench. She thinks Don is full of himself but in reality, she is a fan. Once they are wrapping and gearing up to film the first talked film in their studio, Kathy gets hired as an extra and the sparks fly. Lamont consumed with jealousy gets Selden fired from the studio but Don and his friend Cosmo Brown (Xavier J. Bush), have a dubbing plan that will save the day and keep both actresses happy and in the spotlight. Things obviously do not go as planned but in the midst of the chaos talents and lies are revealed while each part lands in place. 

Singin' In the Rain (Credit: Jason Sullivan/Dupla)

What is lovely and very refreshing to see with these productions, is the promising talent. All very young, truly professional, and prepared. Emma Nossal is a force not to be reckoned with from the fierce tap dancing to the grace, and the beautiful singing, everything is just amazing making a great pair with Anthony Michael Vacio who is charming and enchanting. Hats down to co-choreographers Katie Banville and Jenna Ingrassia-Knox who guided joy to watch tap sequences between Don and sidekick Cosmo aka Xavier J. Bush. 

Audrey Ward as the jelly Lamont is funny and sassy. Audiences may want to dislike her but will not be able to because the charm goes far and long. Studio head R.F Simpson played by Kiara Hudln is too great and captivating. The ensemble does a great job not only on the stage but also moving the props and making way for the transitions on Kristianne Kurner's simple set design that is practical and dresses the plot nicely syncing with Annelise Salazar's lighting design as well as Ethan Eldred's projection design that has audiences cracking up during the silent and not-so-silent movie scenes to a truly moving moment while projecting rain during the famous movie tap sequence. costume designer Amanda Quivey and assistant costume designer Paige Oberholtzer made everybody look amazing and very 50's with a captivating wardrobe along with Missy Bradstreet's wig and makeup design that had wavy and straight bobs for the ladies and pristine haircuts for the men. Ensemble members include Swing Joe Prete, Nick Siljander, Olivia Pence, Cara Tafolla, Marcy Ledvinka, Hunter Brown, Kaia Bulger, and Kylie Young who I saw last in Onstage Playhouse's First Date and was happy to see again in this wonderful portrayal.

Singin' In the Rain (Credit: Jason Sullivan/Dupla)

Doing a play is challenging and a musical most of the time is even more challenging. There are a lot of moving parts -literally- and with a large cast, attention to detail is a must. Director AJ Knox did a wonderful job and the team effort shined through reflecting the dedication, great performances, and vocals. Props to co-music directors Nina Gilbert and Korrie Yamaoka.

Singin' in the Rain is a film and Broadway classic that should not be missed. Having it locally is an absolute treat and seeing how NVA put in their own touch is the cherry on top. Another thing that is not common in smaller, local productions is a longer run and Singin' has it playing until July 2. 

Also and very importantly, on June 21 the production is having a Relaxed Performance which offers accommodations that include lower volumes and lighting for people with autism, communication disabilities, or developmental disabilities.

Support this talent and their wonderful work. For additional performance date and times click here



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