The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced a run of The Drowsy Chaperone, a production by the university’s Department of Music & Theatre Arts directed by Professor Sheri Anderson. Shows will run from November 9 to 11 and November 14 to 18 in the Woods Theatre. All show times are at 8 p.m., except for Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score, The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving send-up of the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another.
With the houselights down, a man in a chair appears on stage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life and The Drowsy Chaperone begins as the man in the chair looks on. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight. Hailed by New York Magazine as “The Perfect Broadway Musical,” The Drowsy Chaperone is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theatre genre.
The musical parodies American musical comedies of the 1920s that feature over-the-top characters, comic gangsters and bawdy musical numbers. The Drowsy Chaperone book was written by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. It debuted in 1998 at The Rivoli in Toronto, Canada. The Broadway production opened in May of 2006 at the Marquis Theatre and closed on December 30, 2007, after 674 performances and 32 previews. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, the original Broadway cast included Bob Martin, Sutton Foster, Beth Leavel and Danny Burstein. In June of 2007, The Drowsy Chaperone opened in the West End at the Novello Theatre. Leading the cast were Elaine Paige and Bob Martin. The production was staged by the same Broadway team and produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
The Drowsy Chaperone is part of the Center for the Arts’ Department of Music & Theatre Series at Monmouth University. The event is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors. Additional information about The Drowsy Chaperone can be found at www.monmouth.edu/mca.