For over six decades Theatre Wesleyan has put on an annual musical.
To mark the 60th anniversary, Theatre Wesleyan will present “The Drowsy Chaperone” April 24-27. Directed by professor of theatre Connie Whitt-Lambert, the performance will run one weekend only with the debut on Thursday April 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Thad Smotherman Theatre. There will be two performances Saturday April 26: the first at 2 p.m. and then later at 7:30 p.m. The last performance will be Sunday, March 27, at 2 p.m.
“It’s my favorite musical so far,” sophomore theatre major Logan Rodgers said, “because it’s one of a kind and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s just good fun.”
He plays Mr. Feldzieg in the upcoming production.
Described as a “play-within-a-play,” the musical is set in the living room of the narrator known only as the Man in the Chair, and as soon as he places the needle down on his favorite record, the audience takes a trip back to a 1928 classic Broadway musical.
Without leaving the comfort of the narrator’s living room, this comedy is packed with gags, gimmicks, and clichés made famous by the golden age of musicals. Wesleyan’s 60th annual musical virtually has something for everyone. On top of having good laughs, good music and acting, there will be tap dancing, roller skating, power failures, and even airplanes.
Debuting on Broadway in 2006, the play was based on a book written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. The music and lyrics were written by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” got its start in 1997; originally, the show was put together by Lambert, Morrison, McKellar, and some of their friends as a bachelor party gift for Bob Martin as a spoof of old musicals.
There was no Man in the Chair, and the jokes were more risqué, but Martin became a co-writer, adding the narrator and reshaping the production for the Toronto Fringe Festival. After hitting Broadway, the show won the Tony Award for best book and best score.
The cast includes senior theatre majors Spencer Baker (Man in Chair), Brittany Adelstein (Janet Van De Graaff), Michelle Tennyson (the Drowsy Chaperone), Brittani Evans (Mrs. Tottendale), Jeremy Beck (George) and mass communication major Rebekah Ruiz (Ensemble); junior theatre majors Jacob Sanchez (Aldolpho), Tim Crabb (Gangster #1), Laura Hemingway (Ensemble), Jonathan Jones (Super); sophomore theatre majors Cameron Byerly (Robert Martin), Rodgers (Mr. Feldzieg), Kaila Saffle (Kitty), Krystalyn Lasater (Ensemble), Carlos Brumfield (Ensemble), and Deja Chase (Trix the Aviatrix); freshman theatre majors Eric Nunez (Underling), Colton Mallory (Gangster #2), Trey Cardona (Ensemble), and Tyler Guse (Ensemble).
The box office opens for advance sales April 15, and runs Tuesday-Friday, April 15-18, from 1-5 p.m. Reserved tickets are available by calling the box office at 817-531-4211. Ticket prices were raised slightly from previous performances. Students with ID will pay $6, faculty and staff price is $8, and general admission is $12. For anyone planning on attending the Saturday, April 26, evening performance, all tickets will be $25 and must be reserved through the Office of Advancement by calling 817-531-4404. The Thad Smotherman Theatre is located on Campus on the corner of Avenue E and Binkley Street.