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DSM Playhouse presents ‘Singing in the Rain’

The Des Moines Playhouse opened its musical “Singin’ in the Rain” on Friday, two years after the show closed early in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We were really bummed out when it got shut down,” said Erin Horst, director of the musical at the playhouse and head of the musical theater department at Drake. The show premiered originally on March 13, 2020, ran for two performances, and then closed for what was thought to be a two-week delay. 

Two years later, the show will open again, giving many cast and crew members a chance to do it over. 

“It’s a really weird thing to like, completely just redo a show that you’ve done quite recently, so that [has] been a really special and honestly just kind of healing and cathartic experience,” Horst said. 

For Brynn Kelly, a Drake student in the ensemble, the show allowed her to perform despite the pandemic. 

“Theatre has not quite been the same, and so getting the chance to do it again, it’s been very special to me,” she said. 

The cast will be unmasked during the performance, which was strange to cast members at first. 

“This is live theatre coming back from a pandemic, there’s some things that you forget that you missed,” Kelly said. 

Another Drake student in the ensemble, Bethany Woemmel, said she enjoyed the week leading up to opening night when all the elements of the show came together. “Nothing is lacking. The acting, the singing is all brilliant — the set is amazing,” she said. 

“And I think everyone needs to see the magical moment of rain inside,” she added when asked why it’s worth seeing. 

Horst agreed completely: “Come see ‘Singin in the Rain’ because it’s a breath of fresh air. Come for the theatre magic.” The show runs Wednesdays through Sundays through April 10.


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