"Gruber creates a smooth and amiable figure. He puts on a little of the exaggerated image of the silent star, but reveals from the beginning the man's real heart. He skips adroitly through each mode of dance, and makes the most of the title song....The point of the song is that rain can't douse the enthusiasm of a man in love, and Gruber is convincing as he gracefully glides through the pouring and splashing water -- and across the slippery boards -- as if he were dancing on air."--Bergen Record
"Michael Gruber, as the silent-screen star played by Mr. Kelly, does what Mr. Kelly never had to do in the film, that is, dance and sing at the same time, which takes not only talent but a sturdy constitution. He sings well and convinces as he dances in the rain, and later when he dances the ambitious 'Broadway Ballet.'"--New York Times
Michael Gruber (Don Lockwood) has been on Broadway in the original companies of Miss Saigon and My Favorite Year. He was also the last 'Mike Costa' in the Broadway company of A Chorus Line. Regional credits include: 'Bill Calhoun' in Kiss Me, Kate (Goodspeed Opera House), 'Whizzer' in Falsettos (Alliance Theater, Atlanta), 'George Musgrove' in Little Me (Bingham Theater, Michigan), 'Tom Marlowe' in Good News! and 'Billy Crocker' in Anything Goes (Music Theatre of Wichita), 'Don Lockwood' in Singin' in the Rain (Sacramento Light Opera) and 'Joseph' in Joseph...Dreamcoat (Alaska Light Opera). Michael is also the composer of Hypatia, an original musical play, along with co-author Jennifer Allen. Incidentally, Michael's first job after moving to NYC six years ago was in the chorus of My One and Only at Papermill. He is grateful to be performing here once again.
Michael quoted in "Paper Mill Playhouse: The Life of a Theatre":
"Never in my whole career have I experienced anything quite so thrilling and invigorating as the rain sequence in Singin' in the Rain. This truly theatrical moment was a twofold gift: First, to have the opportunity to recreate such a memorable moment out of one of the greatest MGM musicals, one designed, as always, in the inevitable Paper Mill fashion - breathtakingly beautiful. Michael's set, Tim's lighting, and Gregg's clothes thoroughly transported me back to the decadent elegance of early Hollywood. Second, after the sheer physical endurance required to perform that first act - a marathon that has proved to be the greatest challenge I've ever had to face - how appreciative I was to cool off under the torrential downpour of a well-placed water spout. Except for the occasional bad behavior of a certain black umbrella, the number went off without a hitch, an amazing feat considering how complicated it was. Once again, I praise the incredible crew of the Paper Mill whose technical and emotional support, not to mention a good drying off each night, gave me seven weeks of absolute bliss."