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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cindy Prascik's Retro Review: Singin’ in the Rain @ Wheeling’s Capitol Theatre

Dearest Blog: This week I had the opportunity to enjoy two classics in tandem: Magical musical Singin' in the Rain at Wheeling's majestic Capitol Theatre.
First, let's talk a bit about the venue. The historic Capitol Theatre opened for business in 1928, and is perhaps best known as the former host of Jamboree USA, a live, weekly country music broadcast enjoyed by fans near and far. It is currently the proud home of the best little orchestra in the nation, the Wheeling Symphony, and presents an annual Broadway series, as well as occasional country and rock concerts. In the late 2000s, the theatre underwent extensive renovations to improve the seats, bathroom facilities, and lounge areas, upgrading it to the area's most comfortable, as well as its most beautiful, venue.
This summer, the Capitol is offering a summer movie series of old and new favorites on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Admission is only $5 for adults and $3 for children. Concessions are more reasonably priced than your average cinema, and, in addition to the usual popcorn and soda, the menu features pizza, hot dogs, and--for the Thursday-night shows--cocktails. Now it's a party, right?! Movies are general admission, and there's not a bad seat in the house. Close up, further back, center or side, you'll see and hear just fine. Thursday night, we visited the Capitol to revisit another classic, Singin' in the Rain.
A handsome movie star (Gene Kelly) finds true love against a backdrop of Hollywood's first talking pictures.
Ladies and gentlemen, there's a reason why people are still interested in a movie like Singin' in the Rain six and a half decades after its original theatrical run: It is simply timeless. Gene Kelly is a legendary talent: actor, dancer, singer, director. Hollywood has never known a more charismatic leading man, not before and not since, and here--a movie star playing a movie star--he's at his most magnetic. Nineteen-year-old Debbie Reynolds is fun and feisty as his leading lady, but the movie's real scene-stealer is Donald O'Connor, with his timely wisecracks and extraordinary dance moves. 
The plot moves at a crisp pace, with well-placed musical numbers and a healthy dose of humor. Its love story may seem a bit saccharine by today's standards, but Singin' in the Rain's ageless choreography, lively tunes, spectacular costumes, and engaging performances will never go out of style. It's a perfect fit for a glorious venue like the beautiful Capitol Theatre.
Singin' in the Rain runs 103 minutes. It pre-dates the MPAA's current ratings system, but, unless you're that dude from Footloose who thinks dancing is evil, I can't imagine any sane person would find anything objectionable about it.
Singin' in the Rain is a timeless classic for all generations. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Singin' in the Rain gets nine.
Thanks to all involved with bringing the Summer Movie Series to the Capitol! Get out and see some of these upcoming favorites:
Mary Poppins - Sunday, July 30 - 3:30 p.m.
The Blues Brothers - Thursday, August 10 - 7:30 p.m.
The Little Mermaid - Sunday, August 13 - 3:30 p.m.
Caddyshack - Thursday, August 24 - 7:30 p.m.
The Wizard of Oz - Sunday, August 27 - 3:30 p.m.
The Big Lebowski - Thursday, September 7 - 7:30 p.m.
Sing - Sunday, September 10 - 3:30 p.m.
Until next time...

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