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Review of Drowsy Chaperone with Mara Davi (8/5/07)

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bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
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First of all, let me start out by saying that this show is in terrible shape. I was never a huge fan of it to begin with, but the little sparkle that was there before is gone now. If this had been the production that first opened on Broadway in 2006, I guarantee that it wouldn't have won any Tonys and might not have even been nominated in many categories. Of the few original castmembers still in the show, the only one who is still fresh is Danny Burstein as Aldolpho. The rest of them, including Beth, are just tired and old. I was actually bored throughout most of the show.

Of the new castmembers, John Glover does not liven up the show like Bob Martin did. Bob Martin WAS the show, and John Glover just helps to prove this. JoAnne Worley is terrible as Tottendale. She has taken the character in a completely different direction from Georgia Engel, which is admirable, but misses half of the jokes doing it. I wasn't entertained with her, not even the pearls around the neck bit. I seriously missed Edward Hibbert as Underling. I loved him in this and hated him in Curtains. Can we please make an actor switch? Gerry Vichi as Feldzeig was...gfdgehgerhg. And by that I mean exactly that. You couldn't understand a word the man was saying. The only new castmember who impressed me (not including brand new Mara Davi) was Patrick Wetzel as George. He brought a freshness to the role.

OK, now for the whole point of me making a return trip to this show: Mara Davi. While you could tell she was still adjusting to the role, she really blew me away. Her "Show Off" tricks were great (just so you know, she hits the same note as Sutton at the end of the encore) and her character personality was spot on. "Show Off" was not her standout number for me though. She really NAILED "Bride's Lament", and she was great in the scene surrounding "Accident Waiting to Happen". Though you can tell she is still adjusting vocally and stylistically, she has already figured out her movement and character embodiment. I found her better than most of the cast, including Beth. And she's only going to improve. My only worry is that the show won't be around very long for her to really grow into the role. Like I said, it's in bad shape. Anyway, just my two cents.
Updated On: 8/5/07 at 07:09 PM
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DrTheatre
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How was the house? Was the house full, empty or 1/2, 1/3, 1/4?
"In the U.S.A. You can have your say, You can set you goals And seize the day, You've been given the freedom To work your way To the head of the line- To the head of the line!" ---Stephen Sondheim
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bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
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I was in the last row of the mezz, so I couldn't see the orchestra. But the mezz was mostly full, with a whole few rows on each side empty. If the orchestra was filled in proportion to the mezz, my guess would be about 75-80% house.
ILoveWicked330
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joined:2/7/05
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I was there today too in the last row of the mezz.
I went and got these tickets when I heard Davi would be in it so I was really looking forward to her performance.
Her singing and dancing are great. Her tricks in Show Off with the splits leading up to the back-hand thing was incredible and people around me went "WOAH". As much as I enjoyed her singing and dancing, I felt her acting was alittle weak. At times I felt like she was just saying the lines rather than acting. It's her first real "break" as a lead and this was her first week so she needs time to adjust but overall, she was great.
I didn't really like JoAnne Worley at all. I was hoping to, but I didn't. Like bjh said, she missed all the jokes, etc.
John Glover was alright. I felt for him at the end towards the end with the cane drop up until the end. I liked Bob a LOT better but John was good.
Danny Burnstein was really on today and the audience loved him. Last time I saw it, I felt he was just "going through the moves" kind of "ugh I've done this show how many times?" but today he was really on & doing his thing.
I actually thought Beth was really "on" today also. Maybe it's because I haven't seen it in months but I thought she was really good today. She added afew lines since the last time I saw it so it was fun.

The theatre was mostly full because there was some kind of Firm there that brought everyone to see it which was a good 300-400 people I'd say. They were VERY immature. Before the show, in every row, you had maybe 1 in every 10 people taking pictures, 1 in every 20 people on a phone, and 1 in every 30 people listening to their ipod. During the end when John was making the "closing speech", someone decided to think it was the funniest thing in the world & started laughing which caused more people to laugh and John had to basically say Stop.

But overall, it was good. I'd recommend seeing it.

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bjh2114
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ILoveWicked, where in the last row were you sitting? Yah, what was with all the kids? They were EVERYWHERE!
ILoveWicked330
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L102
The lady next to me LOVEDDDDD the show which made me feel like happy for her. She kept screaming "encore encore!!!" & was histerically laughing the entire show.

I was walking around before going to the show and passed this large group of afew hundred kids by the Starbucks at the Mariott & saw them holding tickets so I looked and they had Drowsy tickets and I thought to myself "oh god ALLLLL of them?!?!" and sure enough they all did. The ushers were kind of poor on handling the situation. When it was like 2:55, they finally said something about photographs, cell phones, etc, threatening to confiscate them
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Steve2
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I have seen it 6 times with the original cast. I am visiting again at the end of the month and one of my travellers wanted to see it. I am sorry to hear about some of cast members you described. I assume that Mara Davi will grow into the role by then.
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azeller
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Does anyone know how much longer John Glover will be in the show? I thought I'd heard that he would be leaving in August for Smallville.
"Let's admit one thing right upfront: With the possible exception of Bernadette Peters, not everyone stays young and cute forever." (NYPost 2/2/05)
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MillieDillmount
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Has any one heard who is going to be replacing him? MAYBE since Drowsy closed in London Bob will come back to NY to play Man in Chair again!! That would be AWESOME!! That's probably just more wishful thinking though.

And I'm soo glad that everyone is loving Mara!! I'm suuuper excited to see her! I loved her in ACL. She was so sweet and funny when I met her after too! She told me to make sure I come to see her, hehe.

~Darci
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Wanna Be A Foster
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Bob is opening the DROWSY tour in Canada next.
"Winning a Tony this year is like winning Best Attendance in third grade: no one will care but the winner and their mom."
-Kad

"I have also met him in person, and I find him to be quite funny actually. Arrogant and often misinformed, but still funny."
-bjh2114 (on Michael Riedel)
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MillieDillmount
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Ooh, for real? That stinks. I mean I'm glad he's still playing Man in Chair, but I won't be able to see him in Canada.

~Darci
justafan2
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I wish Bob would come back to Broadway because the numbers aren't great here and I think he would help raise the attendance---no one is quite like him. (it IS his show, really)