Brittany Pierce-Caiazza’s Review of The Drowsy Chaperone

May 4, 2019

The Falls Theatre

Wappingers Falls

The Drowsy Chaperone is a light-hearted love letter to musical theatre, and a surefire delight whenever it is performed. This particular production stumbled a bit to find its stride, but in the moments where it shined, it was a hit.

The Drowsy Chaperone begs the question - what if our favorite cast album could come to life right in front of us? What if we could be a part of that action?

For the “Man in Chair,” that is just what happens. His favorite musical literally comes to life around him as he listens in his living room. If only this were something that could happen in reality. Imagine the possibilities!

This particular production showcased some creative uses of set (I don’t want to disclose too much as that is half the fun of a show like Drowsy) and a variety of colorful, and time appropriate costumes. The choreography was a bit muddled, but the voices rang true and strong. And one thing that can be said for this cast - they were committed to their characters through and through, a necessity for this particular musical.

The spotlight was shared in this production by two County Players regulars: Michele George as the title character, and Glen Macken as the over-the-top Adolpho. The Drowsy Chaperone, George, commands your attention in every scene, and her rendition of “As We Stumble Along” is dynamo. She embraces every nuance of the Chaperone, and never falters in her performance. As Adolpho, Macken is downright hysterical as the bumbling wannabe lover of, well, anyone.  “I Am Adolpho,” a number that features both Macken and George, is one of the highlights.

As the aforementioned Man in Chair, Dylan Parkin is delightful. His running commentary on the action is spot-on funny, and his last monologue heartbreaking, albeit a bit too dramatic as it slaps the audience with the loneliness he has been hinting at, before asking them to make an emotional jump back to the embracing arms of a musical-within-a-musical. As the ingénue, Janet Van De Graaff, Amy Schaffer, although too old for the role, showed serious vocal chops, especially in “Bride’s Lament”, a song where we are told repeatedly to “ignore the lyrics”. As the Gangsters, Emily Woolever and Michael J. Frohnhoefer were a delicious duo of word play and physical comedy. The cast in general was put through their paces between costume changes and scene changes. They did so seamlessly, with help from a (very visible) hard-working crew.

The Drowsy Chaperone is a fun night at the theatre, and a fitting end to the 2018-2019 County Players’ season. It runs through May 19th at the Falls Theater in Wappingers Falls. Tickets and information are available by calling the box office at 845-298-1491 or visiting http://countyplayers.org./

 

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