Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Drowsy Chaperone"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2011 by "chucksue"

"The Drowsy Chaperone"
at Turtle Lane Playhouse

A Review from chucksue [chucksue@comcast.net]

Turtle Lane Playhouse closes their 2010-2011 season with the rollicking, hilarious musical "The Drowsy Chaperone." This a play within a play. And is especially enticing for people who love musicals.
The entire play takes place in the apartment of the nameless "Man in Chair" Deliciously portrayed by the marvelous David Herder. Under the flawless direction of Mr. Dan Dowling, his cast gives a wonderful and exciting night of musical theater. Taking you back to the times when musicals didn't have to have falling chandeliers, helicopters landing on the stage, or (gasp)!!!! CATS crawling through the theater to have a good time.

As the "curtain" rises we meet Man in Chair, who is feeling somewhat "blue" and the only way he cures his blues is to sit in his comfortable chair, close his eyes and play his favorite record of the fabulous 1920's musical "The Drowsy Chaperone."

As he listens the musical comes to life in his "living room."

The play within a play is about a wedding that is to be hosted at the home of Mrs. Tottendale, a ditzy, eccentric woman with her servant Underling always at her side. The bride is the broadway starlet Janet Van De Greaf.who is at the pinnacle of her career but will give it all up for the love of her life Robert Martin. Janet's producer of the show is the gruff, hard as nails Mr.Feldzieg. Who will stop at nothing to make sure the wedding doe not happen.

Throw in a pair of mobsters disguised as pastry chefs, a sexy, scatterbrained chorus girl who is "dying" to replace Janet, latin lover Adolpho, best man George and who could forget The Chaperone who loves to drink, even though it tnends to make her "drowsy" and you have the makings of an old fashioned Broadway musical.

The plot becomes quite complicated but moves along quite nicely by some of the most delightful and ingenious songs written for a musical.

The cast is Top Shelf!! David Herder is absolutely delightful as Man in Chair. I would even go as far to say he was born to play this role as Zero Mostel was for Fiddler and Carol wasforDolly. Jackie Theoharis is exceptional in the role of Janet! She is a "quad-driple" threat. Sing, dance, act AND comic timing that can't be taught. Her "show off" number where shesings, juggles, dances does cartwheels is worth the price of admission. Not to be outdone Tim McShea sings, tap dances and even rollerskates blindfolded.

Kate DeLima perfectly captures the role of the title character. Her performance of "As We Stumble Along" is old fashioned, knee slapping hilarious. The deadpan portrayal of Underling by Stephen Peters was spot on.

Chas Kircher and Jordan Greely were side splitting, go back to vaudeville funny. Newcomer to Turtleland Peter Mill squeezes every little bit of comedy out of his performance as Adolpho. His first scene will make you laugh so hard your sides will ache. Julia Deegler as the hair-brained Kitty is absolutely great. Sarah Jones portrayal of Mrs. Tottendale will leave you in stiches.

We must not forget the very talented and funny ensemble.

The set is very functional and the scene changes are carried out like a well oiled machine. The nine piece orchestra led by Mr Howie Boles is one of the best pits I have heard at Turtle. Karen Fogarty moves her cast through a myriad of dances with ease. Charleston, quick-step, tap, all done with precision. Last but not least are the fabulous, colorful, dazzling over the top costumes by resident costume designer for over 30 years Richard Itczak and his wonderful assistant Kimmerie Jones. Kudos!

All I can say is CONGRATULATIONS to the cast, orchestra, and crew. for ending the 2010-2011 season with a rousing, frolicing, success!

All and all Turtlelane''s performance of The Drowsy Chaperone "does what it is suppose to do . It takes you to another world and gives you a little tune to carry in your head when you're feeling blue."

Drowsy Chaperone runs Thursday,Friday Sat and Sunday from May 13th to 29th. Hurry and get your tickets NOW !!! This is going to sell out fast!!!

For tickets you can go to www.TurteLane.org or call the Box Office at 1-617-244-0169.

"The Drowsy Chaperone" ( 13 - 29 May)
TURTLE LANE PLAYHOUSE
@ 283 Melrose Street, NEWTON MA
1(617)244-0169

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