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Review: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Adobe Theater

Review: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Adobe Theater

Madcap Comedy Perfect for the Holiday Season

Review: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Adobe Theater

The Drowsy Chaperone Hits all the Right Notes

Adobe Theater, Albuquerque

December 1 - 18

A quiet day at home, just a Man in Chair (Ron Bronitsky) and his record player. He breaks the fourth wall to tell you about the record you are about to hear. The Drowsy Chaperone - a madcap 1920's Prohibition-era romp featuring a wedding, gangsters, showbiz types, mistaken identity and an Aviatrix - all the things you have come to know and love about movies and shows from the Golden Age. He puts on the record and the show begins.

The Adobe Theater in Albuquerque originally produced The Drowsy Chaperone in 2012 and decided to bring it back, with many from its original cast and crew, for a 10-year reunion. The very spirited company makes this a must-see this holiday season.

The action takes place on a very bare bones stage, divided into three sections - the narrator's apartment, the Main Stage action, and the place where other things happen. It's really all that is needed, as the characters fill the stage with great comedy, singing and dancing. The setting is the estate of the dowager Mrs. Tottendale (Jane Hoffman), who, much to her surprise, is hosting the wedding of the year. Starlet Janet Vander Graaf (Rikki Caroll) is marrying Robert Martin (Tim McAlpine), much to the chagrin of her manager Feldzeig (Lou Mazzeulo), who is being chased by gangsters (Jack Litherland and Jim Williams) who want to ensure that Ms. Van der Graaf stay single and making money for their bosses. Feldzeig needs to figure out a way to stop the wedding, while also appeasing his girlfriend Kitty (Kiersten Nord), who thinks she should step into Janet's spotlight instead.

Confused yet? But wait! There's more. Add to this mix Janet's world-weary chaperone (Erin Moody), Matinee idol Aldolpho (Bill Williams), Mrs. Tottenham's Underling (Ross Sype), Robert Martin's Best Gal Marge (Stevie Nichols) and Trix, the aforementioned Aviatrix, and you have a whole lot of crazy characters to help with the mayhem.

This well-worn type of plot could fall flat in so many ways, but the ensemble firmly has their tongues in cheeks and play it all with an edge that makes the soap opera so very enjoyable and hilarious to watch. Strong voices throughout, the standout performances include Rikki Carroll as Janet, who plays our lovelorn star who may (or may not) be ready to give up the stage with bubbly exuberance; Erin Moody, the Drowsy Chaperone, has amazing vocals and commands the stage whenever she is on it; and Bill Williams takes a page from Zero Mostel as Aldolpho, with some of the funniest physical comedy in this very physical production.

Kudos to Musical Director Cheryl Sharps for creating great balance between the orchestra and singers - vocals are very clear throughout. Choreographer Kiersten Nord and Tap Dance Choreographer Zane Barker have also done a fantastic job in such an intimate space, filling it with just the right amount of people moving at any given time - it's always a big challenge in a small space to find that balance, without making the front row feel scared of getting danced on.

The Drowsy Chaperone is playing at The Adobe Theater, 9815 4th Street NW, December 1 - 18. Tickets are available at - get yours now because this run is sure to sell out!

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From This Author - Jackie Camborde

Jackie Camborde, Santa Fe, NM: Jackie has spent the majority of her career in the arts, mostly in fundraising and marketing. She is Director of Development for El Rancho de las Golondrinas, New Mex... (read more about this author)

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