The Drowsy Chaperone
satire of 20s and 30s musicals
June 12-15 and 19-22, 2014
The Shawnee Theatre opens their 55th Season with a musical comedy in a musical comedy, it’s The Drowsy Chaperone. The engagng host for the show is Erik Wagner who lovingly takes the audience through an energetic satire of all those moldy fig plots and numbers from the big shows of the twenties and thirties.
Erin Norlie was a charmer as the Broadway diva who’s decided to leave the theatre for the love of an oil rich young man gallantly played by James Sheahan. Owens Beans was always dependable as the groom to be’s best friend. Dana Anderson was charming and appropriately undependable as the chaperone enlisted to keep the young couple apart on the day before the wedding.
Meanwhile, Nate Curlott, playing the diva’s bluff impresario, has hired a Latin Lover to seduce the diva and a couple of gangsters to further interfere with wedding and keep the diva performing in his show. Kody C. Jones was very funny as the inimitable Adolpho while Henry Ragan and Jimmy Capek were delightful as a couple of malaprop spouting mugs and very good dancers. All the while Megan Clark as the impresarios’s bubbly girlfriend kept insisting that she could do the part. Jennifer Brunker was the old money behind the show while Tyler Lubinus was her resourceful and unflappable butler.
Astoncia Bhagat as Trix the Aviatrix flew in just in time to wrap up the plot of The Drowsy Chaperone by flying all the couples to Rio and marrying them on the way.
Skillful Direction and varied choreography for the show are by Shelly Cooper. Appropriately enough for a show based on a recording the singing and dancing is to a sound track, so there’s a full orchestra for all the effects. Michelle Floersch-Clow gets the credit for costumes that range from sumptuous wedding dresses to a set of overalls. Mathew Rogers has come up with very effective variety of lighting that ranges from antique foot lights to subtle back light effects.
The host of The Drowy Chaperone tells the audience that the reason he loves musical is because when difficulties, problems even disasters strike the cast members don’t whine, they sing and dance. And he’s got a point there. The plot of The Drowsy Chaperone is thin, but it’s rich with the host’s obvious love and insights mixed with all the complications. plenty of singing, dancing and even blind folded roller skating are great fun.
The Drowsy Chaperone at the Shawnee Theatre has final performances this Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening’s and Sunday at two. Next, comes a complete change of pace with the most At the theatre for you, I’m George Walker