The musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone” will conclude it’s month-long run this weekend at the Ziegfeld Theater in Ogden with three separate showings.
“The Drowsy Chaperone”centers on an unnamed man who is notated as The Man in Chair in the program. The Man in Chair, played by Tim White, puts on a record for his favorite (fictitious) musical “The Drowsy Chaperone”. The musical then takes place inside of his small apartment with him offering trivia and critiques on the actors and performances.
Set in the 1920s classical jazz era, “The Drowsy Chaperone” revolves around the imminent wedding of celebrity showgirl Janet Van De Graff, played by Breann Johnson, and her wealthy fiancé Robert Martin, played by Kevin Neff. The title character, The Drowsy Chaperone, has one job: watch over the bride-to-be. Unfortunately for the bride, her chaperone is perpetually drunk, despite the play occurring during Prohibition, which leads to a multitude of problems for the wedding and its attendees.
The musical plays off of a lot of musical theater tropes and the actors play to that.
“I like the fact that it’s just a bunch of kitschy stereotypes and typical golden-age musical theater,” said Becky Cole who plays The Drowsy Chaperone.
“It’s a type of humor that hasn’t died, but has definitely aged and I think everyone can relate to,” Cole said, adding the addition of The Man in Chair was a useful device for modernizing jazz era humor. “(The Man) has added different nuances . . . to bridge the gap between modern humor and golden age humor.”
The Man in Chair is a somewhat difficult role to play according to Tim White, since he is unable to interact with the other actors on stage.
“It was initially difficult. As an actor you feel a little freer and empowered to be able to feed off of someone else’s energy and that can be really intense when you’re sharing a really good moment on the stage,” White said.
After he overcame that hurtle White said it was one of the best roles he’s ever gotten to play.
“I’m playing a person that loves a show so much that he is willing to narrate it, and it’s an absolute joy,” White said. “The character (Man in the Chair) loves the show and I love the show.” White added that the other cast members made the whole experience even better. “I love the people in this show and how talented they are.”
“The Drowsy Chaperone” is directed by Weber State University student Trent Cox. Cox will graduate from WSU spring semester 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Acting and Directing. Cox said the entire production was very enjoyable, but at first it was difficult to stage some of the scenes since he had never seen the show performed. However, Cox was pleased with the end result.
“It’s happy. It’s fun. It’s upbeat. It’ll take you to another world,” Cox said.
The final three showings of “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the Ziegfeld Theater will be on June 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on June 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at theziegfeldtheater.com or at the door prior to the performance.