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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Grab your goulashes for ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

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There’s always a certain magic about live theater, with its ability to transport audiences to any place and any time imaginable.

And in the case of the current show at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, it also can be in any kind of weather.

For audiences, part of the fun of the romantic comedy “Singin’ in the Rain” is watching the actual “rain” that falls on the stage during that classic title number. The show runs through Oct. 9.

The rain feature adds to the complexity of staging the show, according to scenic designer, Michael Layton.

“The most challenging part is of course the rain, and everything that goes with that,” Layton said. “That’s a big deal.”

Plumbing is required to not only supply the water, but also to help control its temperature.

“The water is heated, to a preset temperature, to protect the actor – so the actor doesn’t get sick,” Layton explained.

The water flows through suspended copper tubing that has numerous holes. When it shoots out of the holes, the water hits a shield that directs the “rain” onto the stage below – which, of course, also has to endure the downpour.

“It’s a fiberglass floor,” Layton said of the streetscape and steps beneath. “We built it here, to waterproof and protect the stage floor.” A durable rubber barrier between the fiberglass floor and the stage beneath offers added protection.

The stage surround, with its image of Hollywood Boulevard on an opening night – taken from a 1930s postcard – is made of waterproof vinyl to withstand the daily deluge.

Once it lands on the stage, the water is not recycled as more rain. “It’s all drained away,” Layton explained, noting the floor is sloped slightly backward, and the water is channeled into two large containers backstage.

“A big issue is trying to keep the floor dry. That’s why we have the rubber shield,” Layton noted, adding the stage crew is tasked with drying the stage with squeegees and then wiping it down with towels to prevent damage, and to have a safe surface for the actors.

It will rain at all 47 performances of “Singin’ in the Rain,” at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $36 to $59, and include dinner buffet.

For show reservations, call the Beef & Boards Box Office at (317) 872-9664. For more information, including complete show schedule, visit www.beefandboards.com.


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