Video by Justin Charles
Almost everyone has heard of the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Likewise, Grease, Phantom of the Opera and Little Shop of Horrors. But how many know of The Drowsy Chaperone? That is probably an unfamiliar title to most musical theater fans. But anyone who loves shows reminiscent of days gone by should enjoy this hilarious “musical within a comedy” appearing on the Cedar Cliff High School stage Fri., March 16 at 7 p.m.; Sat., March 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sun., March 18 at 2 p.m. The Drowsy Chaperone, winner of five Tony Awards, is a tribute to the Jazz Age musical.
Music and comedy accompany the storyline, which features a depressed man (the narrator) sitting in his chair alone on stage. He tries to lift his spirits by playing his recording of the vintage, albeit fictional, 1928 musical The Drowsy Chaperone. As he listens, the story comes to life on stage. The show is filled with exaggerated comedy and song and dance numbers that take place as the seated man (Josh Mann) looks on.
Dance Captain Anna Leeds said, “I think this is one of the best shows I’ve ever been part of, and I’ve been part of a lot.”
Leeds said working with “an amazing staff” of director, producer, choreographer and an “extremely dedicated cast” made rehearsals less stressful. “And the show itself is so much fun.”
Laura Mueller, playing the bride, agrees with Leeds. “I've never laughed so much doing a musical before.”
Mueller said the production stayed on schedule the whole time. “We finished learning the entire show two or three weeks before performances. I've never been able to do that in a show before.”
The cast includes two lovers (Alex Lantz and Laura Mueller) preparing for their wedding; a bumbling best man (Andrew Schlegel); a desperate theatre producer (Emanuel Rios); a not-so-bright hostess (Andrea Repetz) and her deadpan underling (Will Youse); two gangsters posing as pastry chefs (Maddie Campbell and Colten Burr); a misguided Don Juan (Sam Robinson); an intoxicated chaperone (Chloe Acquaviva) and the building superintendent (Michael Amato).
Robinson, who plays a Latin “Lothario,”said, “It's comedic because of the flamboyancy and ridiculousness of the characters in it. Of his character, Robinson said, “His main purpose is to seduce the bride, but he's an idiot who seduces the chaperone instead. This show is really interesting and really funny.”
As for ensemble cast member Kira Keim, “I think it’s the best musical Cedar Cliff has ever done.”
Tickets cost $6 for students and $12 for adults. All tickets purchased at the door cost $12. Online tickets are available at the link below.