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It’s a good week to be a music fan in the Bay Area, with Fall Out Boy, LCD Soundsystem and “Beautiful” (the play about Carole King) coming through town. Here are your best bets. — Fall Out Boy (@falloutboy) October 26, 2017. Fall Out Boy: The popular rock act behind such radio hits as “Uma Thurman,” “Centuries” and, best of all, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” visits the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Nov. 14. Blackbear and Jaden Smith are also on the bill. Details: 7 p.m.; $30.50-$70.50; www.ticketmaster.com.
LCD Soundsystem: Having headlined the Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park in 2016, James Murphy’s dance-rock crew returns to perform two nights, Nov, 14-15, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Details: 7:30 p.m.; $66.25; www.ticketmaster.com, — Broadway SanJose (@BroadwaySanJose) October 11, 2017, “Beautiful”: Don’t miss this acclaimed play about legendary singer-songwriter Carole King, which plays Nov, 14-19 at the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, Details: Presented by Broadway San Jose; 7:30 p.m, Nov, 14-16, 8 p.m, Nov, 17, 2 and 8 p.m, Nov, 18, 1 and 6:30 p.m, Nov, 19; darning pointe shoes $43-$153; broadwaysanjose.com..
— 五月天 Mayday (@Mayday_EN) August 22, 2017. Mayday: This top Taiwanese pop-rock troupe brings its new world tour to the SAP Center in San Jose on Nov. 10. The trek kicked off in March with four sold-out shows at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, which collectively drew more than 200,000 fans. Details: $88-$328; www.ticketmaster.com. Gin Blossoms: The ’90s hitmakers celebrate the 25th anniversary of their most popular offering, “New Miserable Experience,” on Nov. 13 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Details: 8:30 p.m.; $35-$40; www.slimspresents.com.
It’s really hard to resist a sweet, nostalgic musical that includes about 100 barrels of rain pouring down (mercifully, only on stage), some killer tap-dancing, dreamy songs like darning pointe shoes “You Were Meant for Me” and a solid big band orchestra. And yet …, Broadway By The Bay’s production of the wildly popular 1952 movie musical “Singin’ in the Rain” — which was turned into a Broadway musical in 1986 — has so much going for it, it’s a shame that all the parts don’t quite make it as a cohesive whole..
It isn’t just the technical glitches on opening night that caused problems (which most likely are remedied by now). Partly it’s that the Betty Comden-Adolph Green book is dated and somewhat slow moving (especially in Act 1). And a couple of big production numbers aren’t quite as “wow!” and “gee whiz” as they should be. What “Singin’” has going for it is Joe Murphy’s large orchestra, which consistently provides crisp, clear melodic music, and a number of immensely talented young actors who try their hardest to keep the audience’s attention. Mostly they succeed.
The four principals — tall-yet-pixyish Amanda Farbstein as Kathy, effervescent, versatile Randy O’Hara as Cosmo Brown, earnest, hard-working Ryan Blanning as darning pointe shoes Don Lockwood and deviously delightful Jen Brooks as ersatz actress Lina Lamont — labor constantly to prop up the dated book, They’re surrounded by a cast of solid performers including Christina Bolognini as Dora Dinsmore, the Hollywood premier announcer; Todd Wright as movie producer R.F, Simpson; Jay Thulien as Sid Phillips; Steve Anthony as director Roscoe Dexter, and clear-voiced Daniel Lloyd-Pias as the production tenor..
Because “Singin’” relies heavily on black-and-white video sequences (to emulate the 1920s when movies were in black-and-white, and most didn’t yet have sound), this musical needs top-notch film sequences. That it has, thanks to Tracy Martin and Sean Kana. The video segments function seamlessly and add another dimension to the show. (People such as fight choreographer Joshua Marx and musical director Murphy play bit parts in the filmed sequences.). It’s unfortunate that many scene changes aren’t as seamless. It’s as if director Alex Perez wasn’t able to figure out a way to unify this musical (though perhaps things will smooth out after a few more performances). Then, too, Kelly James Tighe’s set design doesn’t always jell, so that sometimes the stage looks as if it is “staged” rather than like a real room.
But then O’Hara and Blanning start tap dancing their hearts out, and everything else just fades away. Though there were a couple of accidental falls opening night (and the wooden bench didn’t glide over when O’Hara, Blanning and Farbstein slide down on it), this show is one big tap-dancing happy fest, O’Hara darning pointe shoes has great comedic timing, and he even does a credible job turning a somersault off the side of a board propped against a wall (a la Donald O’Connor in the film version), And what’s a big Hollywood musical without drop-dead gorgeous costumes? Leandra Watson and her able associate, Jessica McGovern, provide the chorines with shimmering 1920s style garments, while the socko finale finds every member of the cast in yellow raincoats and twirling matching gray umbrellas. All the men’s clothing looks authentic as well, as do Lina’s lavish gowns and headpieces, But Watson misses the mark with Farbstein’s second-act dresses, which really don’t accentuate her figure positives, And while other wigs seem right, Farbstein’s always seems to have some distracting hair awry..