by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you are looking for something fun to take your mind off the craziness going on in the world right now, The Drowsy Chaperone presented by the Good Company Players at Roger Rocka’s in Fresno is the perfect choice!
The Drowsy Chaperone is a parody of the American musical comedies of the 1920s. It opens in the home of a middle-aged, lonely man (Steve Souza) who is a huge musical theatre fan. To chase away his blues, he begins playing the record of his favorite musical; the 1928 hit The Drowsy Chaperone (which is a fictional show). The show then comes alive on stage, and throughout the show, the man provides wry and witty comments about the music, story, and actors. The Drowsy Chaperone is filled with pretty much every musical comedy trope of the time-the dashing leading man Robert (Tim Smith), the beautiful leading lady Janet (Emily Pessano), gangsters (Greg Ruud & Nicholas Nunez), Janet’s somewhat shady manager Feldzieg (Jeff Lusk), his ditzy girlfriend Kitty (London Garcia), the Latin lover Adolpho (Erik Valencia), Janet’s chaperone (Jessica Sarkisian), and so on. There is also a number where the leading man is on roller skates!
One of my favorite songs in the show is a tap number called “Cold Feets.” The song features Robert (Tim) and his best man George (Shawn Williams)–I’m always a sucker for a great tap number and they make it seem effortless. Tim also has a lovely voice that I could listen to all day. Janet’s song, “Show Off,” is another favorite of mine and Emily performs every aspect of this very involved song to perfection! Steve is sweet and funny as the Man in the Chair. Laurie Pessano is delightfully funny as Mrs. Tottendale, who is hosting the wedding, and she has great chemistry with Charles Rabb, who plays her butler Underling.
This is a hilarious and fun show with music that you will walk away singing. The entire cast did a great job–if you are looking for a perfect way to escape your troubles for a while, don’t miss The Drowsy Chaperone on stage at Roger Rocka’s until November 12. Tickets can be purchased on their website or by calling the box office 559-266-9494.
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