Theatre Review: The Drowsy Chaperone

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Meet the Man in the Chair, a nameless character who is the first person onstage.

“I hate theater. It’s so disappointing, isn’t it?”

Ah, but this quirky guy is nonetheless a big fan of old musicals. He spends his evenings alone, listening to cast albums like “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a forgotten show from 1928. And when our guy spins the treasured old disk, he -- everyone in the audience – immediately enters that bygone era.

(Jazzy Music)

It’s a fantasy world of glamourous gowns and champagne, gangsters and starlets. Love is lost and found, and of course there’s a happy ending.
 That’s the recipe. This production is always moving at two levels simultaneously. There’s the quirky guy with the old records – he becomes a master of ceremonies, relating monologues with a mordant sense of humor. And through him, we witness a glamorous Broadway extravaganza from 80 years ago – with new, brightly colored costumes arriving in scene after scene.  The combination is fast-paced and funny, with many clever surprises. And, oh yes, the show is just under two hours long. You’ll have a good time – I certainly did.

"The Drowsy Chaperone" plays through October 12th at Sacramento's Community Center Theatre.