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Notes about Iowa Central's spring musical - The Drowsy Chaperone

    by Teresa Jackson
    Posted on 2/13/2015

Winner of five Tony Awards (including Best Original Score) when it hit Broadway in 2006, The Drowsy Chaperone is for people who both love and hate musical theatre.  The show’s narrator, known merely as the “man in chair” sits in his modern-day, dingy, New York City apartment and simply asks the audience if he could play them an old record—a recording of an obscure 1928 musical comedy entitled, The Drowsy Chaperone.  The man often gets “blue”, and listening to his favorite old records helps him escape the dreariness of his life. However, he loves musicals from the Jazz Age, and his enthusiasm charms the audience as he literally walks them through the show—a show which magically appears within the walls of his NYC apartment. He pauses the record, comments on the actors, takes a bathroom break and literally takes the audience through a roller coaster of song, dance and laughter as elements of his apartment basically transform into a Broadway production.

The story line of the show-within-a-show centers on a fabulous showgirl who decides to give up her stage career in order to marry an oil tycoon. Her producer is not happy about this and tries to keep her in the show, not only because of her star power, but also because of the threats from two gangsters whose boss is the largest single investor in his company. Add to this mix a ditzy chorus girl waiting for her big break, a bumbling Latin Lothario, an absent minded dowager, a harried best man, maids and butlers galore, and of course, a chaperone who drinks too much—hence the show’s title—The Drowsy Chaperone.

The musical is tremendous fun—with engaging characters, tongue-in-cheek  humor, charming song and dance numbers …and perhaps best of all, it’s not too long! I was absolutely charmed by it when I saw its premier on Broadway years ago. As always here at Iowa Central, we just wait to find the right mix of students to align with the requirements of a musical—and this year, the winning combination was The Drowsy Chaperone.

Man in Chair: Dakota Demery
Mrs. Tottendale: Elizabeth Thomas
Underling: Dynastacius Collins
Robert Martin: Jake Shelton
George: Nolan Mitchell
Feldzieg: Gerard O’Rourke
Kitty: Chelsea Egger
Gangster #1: Tristan Sitzmann
Gangster #2: Daniel Peet
Adolpho: Luis Dominguez
Janet Van De Graff: Jamie Harmon
The Drowsy Chaperone: Lauren Stewart
Trix: Jade Green
Super: Tyler Schmidt
Sarah Amhof Jake Miller
Danyelle Myers Bryce Palm
Tawni Sundermeyer Alarick Seuferer
Shelby Quade Jacob Halferty
Nicole Cook Everardo Hernandez
Megan Lowe Connor Evans
Kennedy Sims Tyler Schmidt
Rachael Smith