It’s very likely that many folks who exited Davies Symphony Hall into sweeping sheets of pouring rain on Friday night felt like tap dancing their way to their cars, to BART, and to buses…with beaming smiles on their faces, and for good reason — Singin’ in the Rain with the San Francisco Symphony had just been let out, and the gleeful residuals were in full effect. Personally, I had never seen Singin’ in the Rain (1952) in its entirety. I had heard the music and seen clips at award shows, etc. but had no idea what an excellent tongue-in-cheek Hollywood satire it is. It’s witty, hilarious, romantic, and fun. And once again, what better way to experience an iconic film (never mind one with such famous musical numbers) than to see it with a live score accompaniment.
With Conductor Sarah Hicks at the helm, the SF Symphony did a marvelous job keeping pace underneath the giant movie screen playing the film. The music fit so seamlessly, it was easy to forget that the score was being performed live. These film nights are communal events that people should experience — laughing and clapping together, cheering, and watching films that have had significant impacts on the film and music industries (they were chosen to be screened for a reason, after all). Singin’ in the Rain provides an entertainingly light-hearted chastisement of behind-the-scenes Hollywood film production and stardom, including moments that are still relevant critiques of today’s movie-making process. Even if you find the plot, the gender roles, and the ultra-vibrant technicolor a bit dated, you can still sing along to recognizable numbers like “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Make ‘Em Laugh”, “Fit as a Fiddle”, and “You Were Meant for Me.” You won’t be the only one. And if you are, be proud of it.
Your second chance to experience a rain-drenched Gene Kelly splashing through puddles will be tonight, December 7th. For tickets, visit the SF Symphony Singin’ in the Rain event page. And for tickets to more upcoming film nights at the SF Symphony, visit http://www.sfsymphony.org/film (A Night at the Oscars is next!)