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Review: Georgetown Palace's THE DROWSY CHAPERONE - Flawlessly Entertaining

Be thoroughly entertained by a magnificent production at The Georgetown Palace Theatre's Springer Stage.

Review: Georgetown Palace's THE DROWSY CHAPERONE - Flawlessly Entertaining

In my opinion THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, is the most universally charming musical ever created. What a complete joy it was to be so thoroughly entertained by a magnificent production at The Georgetown Palace Theatre's Springer Stage.

The show is a delightfully narrated spoof of the frothy stage musicals of the 1920's. It's a musical wrapped in a comedy that has left audiences breathless with laughter since its 2006 Broadway debut. This multiple award winning piece is effervescent nostalgia to its core and I found the production at The Georgetown Palace to be utterly irresistible.

Directed by esteemed Emmy winner Damon Brown, this show has the perfect staging, cast and design to make it a hit on every level. His masterful hand is evident in every moment on stage. Brown gets the most out of every hilarious moment of the show. Perhaps my favorite thing is that he cast his father, Jerry Brown as The Man In Chair, our narrator for the 20s musical. The elder Brown gives a warm, wonderful performance showcasing his wit, charm, and incredible talent with just a hint of snark. If that weren't enough of a bonus for the audience, Damon Brown has also cast his amazingly talented teenaged son as Gangster 1. If Sullivan Brown is a glimpse into the future of the performing arts we are in good hands indeed. Young Mr Brown's timing and delivery are a pure delight, matching his elders on stage and more. Aside from the Brown family THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is chocked full of fantastic performances.

The entire cast is fabulous in every way, all worthy of special mention, unfortunately I must limit my comments to a few favorites. Suzanne Orzech is amazing as the enthusiastic ditz Mrs Tottingdale, her repartee with Lou Taylor as Underling (especially the spit-take scene) is a comic delight. Leslie Hethcox and Elysia Worchester are brilliant as the hapless engaged couple Robert and Janet. Meredith Brand as George, the centerpiece of the musical action shows off her superior performing skills throughout the show. As the Drowsy Chaperone herself Lorri Boyd is a study in musical comedy all by herself. Her Latin lover Adolpho, Will Tabares hits every laugh and makes the most of the stereotypical role. Along with Sullivan Brown, the Gangster trio is composed of Andrea Lord and Patrick Quinn. They are perfect in their timing and intricate movement. Every cast member is awesome in their roles, singing, dancing and making us laugh for nearly two and a half hours.

The Georgetown Palace has outdone themselves on this show, their usual high production values have hit new heights with this production. Justin Dam's set is beautiful and functions with startling seamlessness. The set flows with the movement of the show in perfect harmony. Gretchen Johnson's scenic painting is simply spectacular. Ellen Simms' costume design is breathtaking. Each piece is gorgeous in design and fit along with being 1920's period fashion. Simms color choices and her vision are evident as well as her vast artistic skill. Courtney Wissinger Eiland's choreography is fantastic, the historic elements in every number take me back to Busby Berkeley's spectacular films. Last, but in no way least, I must mention David Blackburn's magnificent music direction. Under his expert eye (or ear) not a single lyric was lost nor a sour note heard.

If you happened to read my recent review of SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Georgetown Palace, you may remember that I wrote of the theatre's climb to another level of production. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE cements their place in the top tier of Austin area production companies. I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next. Please go see this fantastic production, I promise you won't regret a single moment.


Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

Book by Bob Martin and Don McKeller

Directed by Damon Brown

Georgetown Palace Theatre, Springer Stage

June 3 - July 3

Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes with one 15 minute intermission


Photo Credit: Andy Sharp

From This Author - Lynn Beaver

Austin native Lynn Beaver has been active in local theatre for the past 25 years. She saw her first play in 1974 and fell completely in love with the performing arts. Lynn has been a director,... (read more about this author)

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