Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On Goodspeed's THE DROWSY CHAPERONE
Goodspeed Musicals' The Drowsy Chaperone is now on stage! In this hilarious valentine to show tunes and show people, a forgotten Jazz Age musical comes to life in the living room of a diehard theatre fan. As he eagerly spins his favorite cast album, a fizzy vintage show suddenly appears, exploding with song, dance and pure entertainment. Our quirky narrator fills the plot holes, with laugh-out-loud results. Packed with show-stopping numbers and larger-than-life characters, here's a Tony Award-winning spoof that will have everyone falling in love with zany musical comedy!
The Drowsy Chaperone features book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. This exuberant musical is made possible in part by support from Eversource Energy, Amica Insurance and Robinson+Cole.
The Drowsy Chaperone will rus through November 25, 2018. Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).
Tickets are available through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week, or online at goodspeed.org.
What did the critics have to say?
Joseph Harrison, BroadwayWorld: With THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Goodspeed Musicals delivers a first-rate musical theatre experience that is hard to beat. It is fun (I couldn't stop smiling!), entertaining, and the perfect remedy for when you are feeling blue or when you are simply in the mood for some great theatre. But as it is likely this production won't be preserved on record, audiences should take the time to come experience the show live on the Goodspeed stage before it is gone.
Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant: The major stroke of brilliance of this show-within-a-show is that it has a narrator - a skittish guy known only as Man in Chair. Played with adorable humility by John Scherer, Man in Chair wants to share with us his passion for an obscure 1928 musical called "The Drowsy Chaperone." As he spins the original cast soundtrack album on his turntable, the show comes to vivid life right in his apartment. When two funny gangsters arrive, we're informed that this is "the interchangeable vaudeville duo The Tall Brothers, John and Peter Tall." That the Talls are played here by actual brothers Parker and Blakely Slaybaugh, sharing a stage for the first time in their singing/dancing careers, is a neat touch on the part of the Goodspeed.
Mark G. Auerbach, Westfield News: Hunter Foster's direction is breezy, and Chris Bailey's choreography, from the fabulous taps of "Cold Feets" to the exuberant "Toledo Surprise" Charleston is dynamic. Michael O'Flaherty's music direction, aided by excellent orchestrations by Dan DeLange bring out the best of the score.
Frank Rizzo, Showriz: The production is deftly staged by Hunter Foster, balancing the twee with some snap and post- modern winks, and allowing for just the right amount of ham. I especially liked Clyde Alves' oblivious groom, Ruth Pferdehirt's show biz bide, and a very funny John Rapson (who starred in the tour of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder") as the lothario. Jennifer Allen has the big belt needed for the Chaperone's very funny anthems.