Andrew Avilla/The Skyline View
A mediocre school production would most likely bore a viewer to sleep with the lack of charisma and dry puns, but the Skyline dance, drama and music departments’ take on “The Drowsy Chaperone” was surprisingly far from the norm.
The pamphlets given out before entering the theater read, “a musical within a comedy,” and luckily the play satisfied such statements.
The play opened with Erin Perry who played the Person in Chair, a charismatic individual, an enthusiast of the fictional 1928 musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
Her casual mood and conversations with the audience broke the fourth wall, adding a sense of involvement throughout the entire play. As the record beholding the musical played, often the woman would pause, adding commentary, both necessary and unnecessary, to the scenes.
During any other performances or movies alike, interruptions are always a drag. While the scene pauses were well performed, with cast members freezing in position as bright lights faded to dim blue ones during the monologue, the excessive pauses got old really quick.
However, the person in the chair relieved such annoyance by delivering witty lines of sarcasm and opinions about the scene.
The first scene featured “Fancy Dress” in which the character Mrs. Tottendale, played by Lisa Olson, sings about her not so fancy dress.
While the costumes of the bride were in fact flashy, fringy and fancy, the fancy dress actually failed to intrigue. Though, this did appeal as humorous, implementing irony to sing about a fancy, yet plain dress.
A later scene entertained with the annoyingly comedic song, “Adolpho,” in which the saucy character Adolpho, played by Steven Marshall, belted his own name one too many times. Marshall held his role, never once laughing at himself, no matter how funny or ridiculous his lines were.
Times of uncomfortableness struck when the character spoke of making love to the bride, Janet Van De Graaff played by Danielle Rideau, emphasized plans of lust by sticking out his tongue and rapidly shaking his head left to right. The uncomfortable action and delivery of sexual lines forced out awkward laughter.
Each scene appealed to a certain feeling. Some of these feelings being awkwardness, annoyance, hilarity and anxiety.
At one point, Kevin Valera’s character Robert Martin, the soon-to-be-groom, appeared on stage wearing roller skates. Throughout his performance of “Accident Waiting to Happen”, he zoomed for the set walls but turned away at the last second, washing back a sense of relief.
However, in every up side, there is a down. With the main characters came the ensemble.
Unfortunately, the ensemble did not live up to the expectations of a good supporting performance. While the main cast knew exactly where to place their feet and in which directions to go, the ensemble looked lost and unprepared. It was almost like a car wreck, the audience wanted to turn away but can’t help watch.
Aside from such, the play was saved by breathtaking power vocals that exploded from April Bracy who played “The Drowsy Chaperone” herself.
The entire cast did a wonderful job with line delivery and the vocals were well executed. Not only was the play comedic, but it also served a message by the end of the production.
While “The Drowsy Chaperone” was stuffed with bakery puns, sexual jokes and blunt humor, it ended on a more serious note. Another interruption was implemented, right before the last note of the production.
The Person in Chair quickly addressed the situation, and mourned about how much interruptions sucked. She emphasized the importance of the theater, and how a show can take you away from the horrors of the real world.
This show successfully did just that. It was an escape, a way out of real life.
It gave musical fanatics alike a chance to live in a completely different world for just a few short hours, with inevitable interruptions that snapped viewers out of focus and into reality.