Drowsy Chaperone is full of energy
Published: Thursday, July 19th, 2012
There's no chance of becoming drowsy during a performance of the Black Hills Playhouse’s current production, "The Drowsy Chaperone.”
That's because director Dan Workman, musical director Mary Lou Torrey, choreographer Patricia Downey and an energetic cast keep this parody of 1920s Broadway musicals moving at the rapid, joyful pace that befits the lively, lovely songs and sketchy storyline typical of musicals of that time. In keeping with the musical tradition, “when a couple endures pain, they sing and dance, not endure.”
"The Drowsy Chaperone," a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, begins with the Man in the Chair reflecting back on the wonderful, mesmerizing era of American musical theater, when the plot of a musical was just a way of getting from one song to another. He then shares his beloved vinyl recording of this play with the audience members, who are transported back through time to watch all the delightful silliness unfold. Throughout the play, Man in the Chair continues to encourage audience members to visualize the cast and scene of the play. Soon the play bursts to life with the opening song “Fancy Dress,” which introduces the characters and storyline.
The play begins with preparations for the wedding of Broadway star Janet Van De Graff (Paige Hauer) to non-theater-person Robert Martin (Patrick Beasley). To make sure the bride remains separate from the groom on the day of the wedding, the title character, the Chaperone (Samantha Barboza) has been employed.
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