THE DROWSY CHAPERONE at Randolph Theatre - As We Stumble Along: Rehearsals Week 1
After 22 months of dancing our [ballet] buns off, running lines in the hallway and cheering loudly when someone belts a high note, the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts' Summer 2017 graduating class is embarking on its final journey together--and what better journey's end than a whimsical 1920s-inspired monkey-filled musical parody!
My name is Kate Carmanico and I am thrilled to be joining my fellow cast members as Kitty (The Incomprehensible) in our term's upcoming production of Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison's The Drowsy Chaperone.
Under the musical direction of David Atkinson and guided by our fearless leader, Dayna Tekatch, the first few days of rehearsal have been an incredible whirlwind of six-part harmonies, Brooklyn accents, countless time steps and human biplane workshops, the last of which I'll leave up to the imagination.
"Stumbling" through our first read/sing-through of the show, guided by Musical Director David Atkinson, Director Dayna Tekatch and Associate Director Cara Hunter
Amazingly enough, The Drowsy Chaperone was originally written as a spoof to celebrate the wedding of Toronto comedians Bob Martin and Janet Van de Graaf. Best described by Man In Chair, the show's narrator, as an evening's entertainment complete with "Mix-ups, mayhem and a gay wedding", the book was later revised by Bob Martin and became a box office success, not to mention the crowning glory of Canadian musical theatre. In the context of Canadian theatre's recent rise to prominence, the opportunity to be a part of this particular production has been an immense honour for our cast.
With only a few short weeks to bring this production from the page to the stage, our group faces the added challenge of being double-cast, as well as double-understudied--in other words, four different actors are required to learn each principal part, while designated swings study several ensemble tracks. (If you think picking up choreography is hard, try learning the same choreography ten different ways!)
As we wrap up our first week of rehearsals, I feel invigorated by our cast's vivacious dedication to the process, as well as inspired by the sheer genius and passion behind our creative team, who never fail to remind us what The Drowsy Chaperone was truly intended as and what will continue to resonate with us when we look back on our time at Randolph: a love letter to musical theatre.
Photo by Stephanie Ferraro: Company tap rehearsal in the Randolph Theatre