One ‘Drowsy Chaperone’From memories to a full-blown show, James-town College’s annual musical takes a look at Broadway from a bygone era with next week’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
From memories to a full-blown show, James-town College’s annual musical takes a look at Broadway from a bygone era with next week’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
The show starts with a character known as The Man in the Chair reminiscing with the audience about his favorite musical, the entirely fictitious 1928 production “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
“All the scenes and songs of this 1920s show come together in his apartment,” said Mike McIntyre, show director.
From there the show becomes a parody of musical theater in the 1920s, McIntyre said.
The plot revolves around a stage actress who will leave her career to marry the son of a wealthy oil tycoon. The chaperone, who is supposed to keep the couple from seeing each other on their wedding day, isn’t as drowsy as she is drunk.
“It makes fun of the fact that back in that era you didn’t need much of a story to deliver the songs and comedy that’s there,” McIntyre said.
The show parodies musical styles from the 1920s, such as jazz numbers or outlandish comedy, he said.
It also references musicals since then from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Elton John.
“The show is very funny, very light-hearted and doesn’t require you to know absolutely anything about musical theater, but if you do there’s a lot of great satire to it” McIntyre said.
The set also has some surprises but McIntyre wouldn’t discuss any details.
He chose “The Drowsy Chaperone” because he wanted to put on a production with an old-fashioned style, even though it debuted in 1998.
Many of the 32 students in the cast were taught exactly what each part was parodied.
“It’s definitely a show within a show in 12 shows,” said Morgan Bossman, a fifth year senior from Sturgis, S.D., who is playing the Drowsy Chaperone.
Cast members have dual roles in a way, Bossman said. Some play the actor on the script who is playing an part based on a stage persona from a certain era.
Many students had to research and watch videos, especially for the final scene, which she didn’t want to reveal.
Nik Maloney, a fifth year senior, from East Grand Forks, Minn., is playing The Man in the Chair.
“I cherish them,” he said of the characters in the 1928 musical. “I almost worship them — oddly fascinated with a couple of them.”
The show also has two student chorographers in Courtney Diestler and Amber Orizotti. Richard Walentine will direct the music and Jackie Mangnall and Penny Briese will do costumes.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, through Saturday, Nov. 3, in DeNault Auditorium in the Reiland Fine Arts Center on the campus of Jamestown College.
Tickets are $10 and can be reserved through the Box Office by calling 252-3467, ext. 2435, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Jamestown College website www.jc.edu and click on “Community” and “Reiland Box Office.” They can also be purchased at the door.
“It’s just very clever and has some very catchy music to it as well,” McIntyre said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com