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The Drowsy Chaperone at the Marquis Theatre

- Backstage with the Playwrights

The Drowsy Chaperone
Marquis Theatre

The Drowsy Chaperone
Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison
Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar
In Special Arrangement with Paul Mack
At the
Marquis Theatre
1535 Broadway

Starring: Danny Burstein, Georgia Engel, Sutton Foster,
Troy Britton Johnson, Eddie Korbich, Garth Kravits,
Jason Kravits, Beth Leavel, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Bob Martin,
Noble Shropshire, Jennifer Smith, Lenny Wolpe
With: Andrea Chamberlain, Jay Douglas,
Stacia Fernandez, Linda Gabler, Linda Griffin,
Dale Hensley, Angela Pupello, Joey Sorge, Patrick Wetzel

Directed and Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Scenic Design: David Gallo
Lighting Design: Ken Billington/Brian Monahan
Costume Design: Gregg Barnes
Makeup Design: Justen M. Brosnan
Hair Design: Josh Marquette
Orchestrations: Larry Blank
Dance and Incidental Music Arrangements: Glen Kelly
Music Direction and Vocal Arrangements: Phil Reno
Music Coordinator: John Miller
Conductor: Phil Reno
Production Supervisors: Brian Lynch/Chris Kluth
Sound Design: Acme Sound Partners
Production Stage Manager: Karen Moore
Casting: Telsey + Company
Associate Producers: Sonny Everett/Mariano Tolentino, Jr.
Marketing: TMG-The Marketing Group
General Management: The Charlotte Wilcox Company
Producers: Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Boyett Ostar Productions,
Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Frietag, Jill Furman
Press: Boneau/Bryan-Brown

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 13, 2006

This musical within a play is set in the New York City studio of Man in Chair (Bob Martin), a Woody Allen type, who lives through his old, long-play recordings on an old fashioned record player (Remember them?). He loves the crackling sound of yore, and he stays onstage throughout this intermission-less event as the audienceís host, sharing with us his favorite recording of a 1920ís Broadway dance musical, ďThe Drowsy ChaperoneĒ, about love and camp, Vaudeville style. This is pure fun, with exotic sets by David Gallo, glittering costumes by Gregg Barnes, and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison that linger as long as the stage lights. We will not be humming these tunes in the aisle, but we will feel thankful that we saw the show. This is feel-good nostalgia par excellence.

Bob Martin, who also co-wrote the book, is the quintessential impassioned devotee of the genre. The actors in his fantasy show are dashing and dazzling, with Sutton Foster (Janet Van De Graaff), the object of desire of Troy Britton Johnson (Robert Martin), Danny Burstein (Adolpho), the swooning and sexy Latin lover, Beth Leavel (the boozy, velvety Chaperone), Noble Shropshire (Underling, the daring, dancing butler), Jason Kravits and Garth Kravits (Gangsters #1 and #2, bakers, caterers), and Georgia Engel (Mrs. Tottendale, a wealthy dowager, frilly and fluttery). Others in this adorable cast are Eddie Korbich as George, Lenny Wolpe as Feldzieg, his partner, Jennifer Smith, as Kitty, Kecia-Lewis Evans as Trix, Joey Sorge as Super, and the Ensemble of Linda Griffin, Angela Pupello, Joey Sorge, and Patrick Wetzel. Ms. Pupello is also Dance Captain, and the tap and kick dances are stupendous.

What seems most memorable for this writer are not specific songs or characters, but the stylized sets and imagery, like pastel fountains, Impressionistic, giant gardens, snappy gangster acts, and a beautiful bakery, all within the confines of Man in Chairís drab studio apartment, the images of his mind. This show is inspiring, in that it reminds us of the simpler times, when music was transporting, upbeat, rhythmic, and, most importantly, melodic. Itís also reminiscent of slapstick humor, with quick repartee as rapid as toe-heel tap. Equally serendipitous are surprise sets that drop down from the rafters and up through the stage. Itís no wonder that this is a TONY award-winning production, a must-see in a drought of light-hearted Broadway musicals. Kudos to the creators and team of The Drowsy Chaperone.

The Drowsy Chaperone
Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

The Drowsy Chaperone
Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

The Drowsy Chaperone
Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at