Anything but Drowsy in “The Drowsy Chaperone”

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Sophia Enlo

Camryn Cole, Staff Writer

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Klein Drama performed “The Drowsy Chaperone” in the Klein High School Performing Arts Center throughout the last week of January and the first week of February, positively reinforcing the program’s legacy.

Synopsis

The production focused on a musical within a musical, where senior Xavier Smith, who played “Man in the Chair,” evaluates the performance of the fictional show’s characters as he listens to the soundtrack on a record. His commentary is humorous, making the audience burst out into laughter multiple times throughout the performance. A wedding is taking place within the fictional musical, but as the show moves forward, the audience begins to discover various chaotic events that conflict with the special day of romance. This show contains many quirky and likable characters, bound to give anyone a laugh. There are random occurrences throughout the show, one highlight being Robert Martin, played by senior Cade Eller, rollerskating poorly throughout the garden of the household. Many innuendos are sprinkled throughout the show, but it only adds to its humor and builds onto the lightheartedness of the production.

Performance

The cast’s vocal capabilities were highly impressive, the music ranging from quiet and lighthearted to bold and belting. Junior Bella Guerrero played the role of Beatrice Porter (The Drowsy Chaperone) very well. Being a character of immense sarcasm and slight alcoholic tendencies, this character portrays sincere comedic relief and genuine talent, as can be told from the powerful song “As We Stumble Along.” Seniors AnaBelle Elliot and Miles Estes took on the roles of Ms. Tottendale and her loyal butler, Underling. The two had excellent stage presence, interacting with each other very well. Because the show is set during the 20s, alcohol is banned due to prohibition. Ms. Tottendale decides to sneak illegal beverages into the wedding to properly celebrate but becomes confused after she continuously forgets her code word, “iced water”, much to the dismay of Underling. Despite being a comedy, the show contained lots of emotion and told a very entertaining story. Some songs in the production led to many laughs, while others made the audience feel sorry for the characters. The acting was both believable and appropriate for the musical’s “show-within-a-show” structure. There was a perfect balance of emotion, providing variation to the audience. Overall, the production’s performance was both impressive and entertaining, two aspects that are very important when it comes to the theatre.

Set Design and Costumes

The show managed to have one consistent and multifunctional set throughout the majority of the musical. It aimed to portray the narrator’s household but successfully transmitted the fictional actors and actresses stories as well. The overall simplicity of the set was both pleasing to the eye and easy to understand. As the Man in the Chair discussed the scene, the characters acted out what he described excellently. The final scene contains a small set change, one that contains a giant airplane with a spinning propeller. This prop was impressively built and very realistic, leaving the audience awestruck. Costume design was executed very well, the flapper dresses and dapper suits clearly supporting that the musical is based in the 1920s. Kitty, played by junior Karen Heinz, wore an emerald green show dress that sparkled in the stage lights, perfectly exemplifying the character’s flashy personality. The glitz and glam of the women’s show dresses were very pronounced, yet very traditional to the attire that was worn in this era.

Tech and Sound

The lighting was exceptional and accented the performers very well. Bright smiles and fake tears were noticed, largely because the character’s faces were easy to see and comprehend. The performers were also easy to understand, the music was not too loud and the volume of the sound system was not muffled nor set too low. Furthermore, the orchestra added support to the performer’s vocals and was very consistent as the show progressed. Junior Isabelle Olson, who played the ex-showgirl, Janet Van de Graaf, had vocals that were very pronounced and well executed during her piece “Show Off.” Her performance was excellent, as were the rest of the cast members. Overall, this musical was both pleasant to the eye and the ear.

Evaluation

This production exceeded the standards that musicals are set to. Between the quirkiness of the characters, the talent of the performers, and the general storyline, this musical was one of the many highlights to the 2020 school year. Klein Drama put on another successful show, one that was highly appreciated by the student body.