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Sunday Lifestyle

Taryn Lee Hudson shines in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

TOFF of the world - Christopher De Venecia - The Philippine Star

Comedy is far from easy. Take it from the likes of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey who have had to exact from a wealth of life experiences (and incomparable smarts) to be able to do what they so brilliantly do.

But Taryn Lee Hudson, who plays the standout Lina Lamont in the ongoing musical production of Singin’ in the Rain at The Theatre at Solaire, nails her craft night after night for our Manila audiences and has quite possibly stumbled upon a theatrical goldmine. But like all things, it came to her as quite a blur.

Taryn, who has done roles in musicals such as Guys and Dolls and Jersey Boys, recently admitted at a press event to doing a cold read for the director who listened very intently to her accent and voice. He was checking to see if she’d be adaptable to change — that, by the sound of it (think the all-consuming but iconic Janice in Friends), wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. “By the time I walked out of there,” she recalls, “I felt like I had been smacked in the face. I went to my boyfriend and told him, ‘I’m not really sure how that went.’ Normally, after an audition, you’re like, ‘Ooooh, I nailed that!’ But I walked out of that audition thinking, ‘I have no idea what just happened.’”

They say that the key to an artist’s identity is the nature of his or her doubt. And that to be lost, in the words of Ortega y Gasset, is a way of being found. For Taryn, it was the idea of getting lost in the role and throwing herself head-long into a great, new endeavor — one that wasn’t going to really make use of her singing voice, dancing prowess, tap skills, or New York Film Academy background — but rather, create a scheming yet sublime foil for Don Lockwood, Cosmo Brown and Kathy Selden to bounce off of, and thereby allow the show’s feel-good comedy to unfold.

Taryn says she’s always naturally gravitated towards the art form. “Luckily, I have a flair for comedy! And I love it. It’s a lot of fun.” The timing, she says, is something that can be developed. “I did a lot of studying and referencing,” she says, admitting there are a lot of techniques that you can read up on. After all, it’s not just about having a funny bone. She says, “It’s analyzing the script and seeing the language and how they’ve written it.” It’s about finding the rhythm of what is being said and the beats in which the joke lands to get a bead on it.

During the show’s preview night last Thursday, Taryn was sitting intently in the wings, eating popcorn, and keeping quiet the whole time. She was ruminating on the right comedic button for this one particular scene that needed a certain buh-dum-bum before it goes into Don, Cosmo, and Kathy’s Good Mawnin! scene. “Sometimes it doesn’t always land. Sometimes it does,” she admits. Bottom line: it’s about concocting the right kind of alchemy that needs all the right ingredients and practice, practice, practice.

 “Sometimes, people hate me!” she says, adding, “They always love Kathy!” She says that naturally, people would gravitate towards the likeable heroine. “Even I would!” So it’s about humanizing this character that might be easy to hate. What about the day-in, day-out occurrence of being caked in the face, I asked.

 “I’ve changed my mind on that by the way,” she jests. “It’s not as fun as I thought it would be. But I get to fall off benches, and I get to wear this really cool costume” – a sight so breathtaking, especially up-close. From the looks of it, as she gets the biggest hoots and the most resounding applause during curtain call night after night in Singin’ in the Rain, I’d say it’s those little things that make all the difference, and the biggest laughs.

* * *

Catch Singin’ In the Rain until Sept. 13 at the The Theater in Solaire Resort and Casino. For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999.

 

 

ACIRC

BETHANY DICKINSON

BUT I

COSMO BROWN

DON LOCKWOOD

DUANE ALEXANDER

GOOD MAWNIN

KATHY SELDEN

LINA LAMONT

QUOT

SINGIN

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