“Everything Works Out in Musicals”

A review of WATERFORDrama's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone" which opens tonight and runs through Saturday

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“Everything Works Out in Musicals”

Kate Porter, Reporter

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WATERFORDrama’s spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, is truthfully unlike any other performance put on by this group. The comedy laced throughout the narrative framework of a 1920s-based musical had me hooked from the first line to the last.

Few productions have ever been able to pull in an audience within the first few minutes; However, the opening scene of the musical The Drowsy Chaperone begins in complete darkness with a voice uttering the words, “I hate theater.”

The voice belongs to the character cleverly named Man in Chair, played by senior Matthew McKinzie, who, believe it or not, spends the majority, if not all, of the show sitting in a chair in his studio apartment. Man in Chair is a Broadway musical fanatic, evident through his countless showbiz posters and detailed knowledge of the theater.

He plays a vinyl of a 1928 musical called The Drowsy Chaperone, and his hysterical commentary throughout the record leads the audience through each act as his quaint apartment opens up into a stage for the characters of the musical to act out the performance. With his clever cracks about intermission and incomparable comedic timing, McKinzie’s character makes you want to pay attention to him for the entire show, regardless of what else may be happening on stage.

McKinzie invites everyone to see this show because “it is brilliantly written and hilarious crowd-pleaser, made up of a strong ensemble that pays homage to a beautiful time in show business and history. It breaks the fourth wall and takes the audience on a magical journey.”

The play within the play has a dilemma on its own that will indeed intrigue you through the cast’s eager and energetic performance. Senior Kayla Mathiowetz plays Janet van de Graaff, a beautiful showgirl engaged to Robert Martin, performed by senior Nathaniel Rowe, and the performance follows them throughout the events on the day of their wedding.

Senior Natalie Frascarelli plays the Chaperone (in Friday’s performance), whose job is to keep the bride away from the groom, even under an intense amount of alcohol.  Junior Jono Dryden-Jaffe plays George, the anxious best man who keeps the groom’s interest in favor in an attempt to play out the wedding without any bumps. This mix of characters makes for an interesting plot with an amazing tap dance number.

Although the comedy paved throughout the musical would be seen as an audience favorite, the most attractive element of this performance was the connection between modern day and the more classic era. The play truly digs deep at the fact that entertainment is timeless and can pull anybody out of the stresses of the real world and into an imaginative wonderland.

Senior techie Caitlin Drouin stated that this musical is her “favorite performance because of the breaking of the fourth wall – the musical within a comedy – and it feels realistic.”

Senior Liz Dusza plays The Chaperone on Thursday and Saturday. Senior Isabel Umland plays Mrs. Tottendale on Thursday and Saturday, and sophomore Nali Colon plays her on Friday. Seniors Isabel Cavalieri (Thursday and Saturday) and Angela Su (Friday) play Kitty. Sophomore Domonic Bruno and junior Tim McCabe play the Gangsters. Senior Rachel Dondero (Friday) and freshman Nina Pezzello (Thursday, Saturday) play Trix. Junior Jake Niedojadlo plays Feldzieg. Senior Nate Hillyer plays Aldolpho, the King of Romance. Senior Kate Mangelinkx the Superintendent, and junior Sam Amodeo is Underling, Mrs. Tottendale’s butler who becomes her husband.

The ensemble is made up of: seniors Chelsey Barker and Phoenix Sturgill, juniors Micheal Macesker and Andre Mastrandrea, sophomores Sophia Amodeo, Elizabeth Hawkins, and Chloe Wilson, and freshmen Camren Wilkinson and Emily Leitkowski.

The story within a story scenario is lively and is unlike any musical because it allows the audience to build connections with the main character through his passion and casual conversation. The performance will have you laughing until the very end, and I highly recommend seeing it.

The performance begins tonight and runs through Saturday. All shows begin at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on now and Friday in advance for $7 for students and $12 for adults. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $10 and $15 for students and adults respectively. 



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