Last night not one but three leading men took to the stage of Her Majesty’s Theatre in a truly unforgettable performance of Singin’ in the Rain.
In the final moments of Act Two’s high-octane musical number Gotta Dance, leading man Rob Mallett (covering for an injured Adam Garcia) took co-star Gretel Scarlett’s hand for a romantic waltz.
Bathed in soft light and surrounded by wafting dry ice, the handsome couple appeared to be dancing on a cloud.
Mallett twirled Scarlett to the right corner of the stage, and prepared to hoist her into the sky for a spectacular lift.
Then, suddenly, two became one.
Mallett was no longer standing. He was on the ground, engulfed by smoke. Scarlett crouched over her co-star, holding him in her arms for what seemed like an eternity.
Hunched over, the pair made its way off the stage, the leading man clutching his arm.
The dulcet tones of the orchestra stopped, and the house lights went up. The pastel-hued fantasy that had enveloped the audience moments before instantly dissipated.
Was the show over?
“Due to unforeseen injury, this performance will be paused until further notice. Please remain in your seats,” a calm voice announced over the PA.
A crew member removed the lingering props from the stage. Things didn’t look promising.
The chatter of the audience evolved from shocked silence to a cacophony, questioning what was going to happen next.
Then the same crew member from moments before stepped back onto the stage, and re-set the scene.
“The role of Don Lockwood will now be played by Grant Almirall, and the multimedia will feature Adam Garcia,” the same voice from before announced.
The house lights dimmed, the orchestra began to play and the spotlight was now shining on a stranger.
Although his trousers were just an inch too long, Almirall slipped into the role so seamlessly it didn’t matter that the multimedia featured the face of Adam Garcia or that, moments before, the role of Don Lockwood was being played by an entirely different actor.
When the rousing encore came, the entire cast, all beaming smiles and tap dancing through the rain, had made it seem like the evening’s dramatic events were but a tiny grey cloud in a sky of brilliant blue.
Something about when it rains it pours.
Singin’ in the Rain runs at Her Majesty’s Theatre until July 2.