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Review: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Hale Center Theater Orem is Showy but Intimate

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE plays through August 6, 2022.

Review: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Hale Center Theater Orem is Showy but Intimate

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Hale Center Theater Orem is a splendidly showy but also intimately heartfelt love letter to musical theatre and its fans.

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar) won five Tony Awards in 2006, including Best Score and Best Book. The show is narrated by the Man in Chair, who plays a record of a 1920s musical about all the mishaps at a celebrity wedding. His commentary illuminates what is so wonderful about classical musicals without failing to poke gentle but hilarious fun at their idiosyncrasies.

Daniel Fenton Anderson's dry humor, dramatic flourishes, and soul-baring monologues reach right into the heart of the audience as the Man in Chair (double cast with Dustin Bolt).

As for the show-within-a-show, Marcie Jacobsen is stupefyingly good as the Drowsy Chaperone (double cast with Amelia Rose Moore). Preston Taylor brings a disarming ease and charm to the role of Robert Martin (double cast with Spencer Manning), and Brittany Sanders brings an alluring self-assurance and zeal to the role of Janet Van De Graaff.

The entertaining cast includes Josh Valdez as George (double cast with Tanner Fredricksen), Jacob Thomason as Adolpho (understudied by Darick Pead), Amanda Baugh as Kitty (double cast with McKelle Shaw), Shawn Lynn as Feldzieg (understudied by Justin Bills), Liz Whittaker as Mrs. Tottendale (double cast with Mary Jane Smith), Dayne Joyner as Underling (double cast with Michael Smith), Aria Love Jackson as Trix (double cast with Mak Milord), and Preston Harmon and Ryan Lambert as the gangsters (double cast with Richie Trimble and Ethan Freestone).

The cosy venue and lifelike set by Brad Shelton provide a matchless opportunity for the audience to feel like they are in the Man in Chair's small apartment with him watching the show unfold in his mind. The superb costume design by Dennis Wright (including flashy quick changes) and lighting design by Joseph Governale facilitate complete immersion into the world of the musical, and Jennifer Hill-Barlow's astute direction and glitzy choreography lift the experience to another plane.

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE plays through August 6, 2022. For tickets, call the box office at 801-226-8600 or visit www.haletheater.org.

Photo Credit: L-R Marcie Jacobsen (Drowsy Chaperone) and Jacob Thomason (Adolpho). Photo by Suzy O Photography.




From This Author - Tyler Hinton

Tyler Hinton has been a contributing editor at BroadwayWorld since January 2012. He has a BA from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in... (read more about this author)


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