The back-story has all the charm of a fairy tale. But, the Rural Root Theatre Company’s rendering of The Drowsy Chaperone gives no indication of awareness of its history. (A note in the program would be appreciated, as would a more coherent organization of the cast and crew bios.)
Almost 16 years ago, friends celebrated the engagement of Bob and Janet in Toronto by putting together a collection of songs, entitled The Wedding Gift.
The private event was such a success that, renamed The Drowsy Chaperone, it became a popular show at the Toronto Fringe, was then presented in a lengthened format with Bob Martin (the Bob of the engagement party) now involved, in larger houses in Toronto, courtesy of top Toronto producer David Mirvish. From here, the Canadian musical became a Tony-award winner on Broadway with numerous productions in London’s West End, Los Angeles, Australia and Japan, as well as touring across Canada. It became available for community theatre production only recently.
The names of the bride and groom in the show are constant reminders of its origins, while the intentionally slight plot combines a gentle spoof of the musicals of the 1920s with a celebration of the genre. (Continue reading » )
Photo by David Pasho
It is more than 15 years since friends celebrated the engagement of Bob and Janet in Toronto by putting together a collection of songs, entitled The Wedding Gift.
From this small beginning, the entertainment, now called The Drowsy Chaperone, evolved into a popular show at the Toronto Fringe, then on to larger houses in Toronto courtesy of top Toronto producer David Mirvish, until it became a Tony-award winner on Broadway with numerous productions in London’s West End, Los Angeles, Australia and Japan, not to mention touring across Canada.
Some might say there is more of a story behind The Drowsy Chaperone — a tale akin to the understudy who becomes a star overnight — than to the intentionally slight fictional plot. Certainly, the names of the bride and groom in the show are reminders of its origins and certainly it does exactly what it sets out to do: celebrate the genre while gently spoofing the musicals of the 1920s.
In the past, The Drowsy Chaperone, has run without intermission. While, at its current length, this would be hard on the audience, the first act is too long and drags towards the close. (However, it is difficult to see a better point to break the action.) (Continue reading » )
Photo: Alan Dean
The Drowsy Chaperone, with its story about the trials, tribulations and ultimate triumph of young love, its song lyrics that are at times ridiculous but acutely aware of their own silliness, and its big, bright dance numbers, the show is at once a smart example of musical theatre and a good-natured jab at the genre.
That can be a tricky balance for a production to maintain, but Orpheus does it with panache and good humour.
Andrea Black, a strong singer and frisky performer, plays Janet Van De Graaff, an applause-loving actor and one-half of the show’s main love story.
(Continue reading » )
OTTAWA, October 23, 2013 – The Capital Critics Circle today announced the nominees for the fourteenth annual English-language theatre awards for plays presented in the National Capital Region during the 2012-2013 season. The Circle has expanded this year’s list to include an award for the best student production.
The nominees are:
(Continue reading » )