Endearingly funny villain of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Endearingly funny villain of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

By: - Reporter
/ 12:06 AM September 07, 2015

SINGING1IN THE CHARMING, glitzy world of the musical “Singin’ in the Rain,” just about everyone breaks into a song or a flurry of bouncy tap moves just because the villain-slash-comic relief Lina Lamont sticks out like a sore thumb: She hardly ever dances. And when she does get to sing, it’s like listening to nails raking across a chalk board.

But with a personality so big and endearingly funny—although unintentionally—it’s tough not to get enamored with the character, especially when played with aplomb by an actress like Taryn-Lee Hudson.


“I think humor is an important element in a musical; it’s great to have something to laugh at from time to time amid the seriousness and romance. The story needs hills and valleys, and Lina provides that,” Hudson told the Inquirer in an interview at Solaire’s The Theatre—the venue of “Singin’ in the Rain’s” ongoing Manila run, which ends on Sept. 13.

As in the 1952 film of the same name, from which this musical was adapted, Lamont is the perennial leading lady of the 1920s movie star Don Lockwood. But as the industry transitions from silent films to “talking pictures,” Lamont slowly realizes that her gratingly high voice is a handicap. And so she does everything in her power to stay relevant.


“We find her hilarious, but Lina doesn’t see herself that way. She’s so oblivious. She thinks she speaks the gospel truth, which makes her even funnier,” the South African actress said of her role.

Real jokester

Hudson, who had previously worked in such productions as “Jersey Boys” and “The Rocky Horror Show,” said that while she didn’t have any formal background in comedy, she enjoys sinking her teeth in roles with a comedic facet.

“I always try to find something funny in everyday life. I love cracking jokes and making people laugh—usually through sarcasm and at my expense,” related Hudson, whose solo number, titled “What’s Wrong with Me?,” has Lamont questioning herself and wrestling with her insecurities, while singing…er, filling the theater with a

cocktail of discordant sounds.

“I love that moment because it shows what Lina’s like behind her façade. She’s a real person dealing with emotions. She may come across as funny, but she’s hurting,” she said.

Singing badly is something Hudson finds immensely challenging because she’s actually a trained and a fantastic vocalist. “It was very difficult for me because it was as if I was trying to unlearn something. I thought it was impossible,” Hudson said. “I would actually look at the score and then try to hit a different note.”


Asked how she manages to sustain that high-pitched speaking voice, Hudson said she conditions her voice as a dancer would his or her body. “Your vocal cords are muscles so I take good care of them. I warm up and train it. And I make sure to resonate my voice through my nose, so I don’t hurt my throat,” she said.

According to Hudson, she often jokes that she only goes onstage to give the other actors enough time to get changed. “But that’s just me being dramatic!” she quipped, laughing. But though Lamont isn’t technically one of the leads, Hudson sure makes her feel like one.

During curtain calls, Hudson unfailingly gets some of the loudest cheering and applause. “It feels great…It means I’m doing my job and that whatever I’m doing is working,” she said. “I’m here to entertain people, and I’m happy to be doing that.”

“Singin’ in the Rain” is presented in Manila by David Atkins Enterprises, Michael Cassel Group, Concertus Manila, Dainty Group and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, and is produced by Stage Entertainment and Chichester Festival Theatre. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8919999.


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TAGS: Acting, Actress, character, Comedy, Entertainment, Musical, performance, play, Singin in the Rain, Solaire, Theater
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