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Cappies: The Drowsy Chaperone dazzles

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 16, 2012 - What ever happened to the good old days, back when going to see musical theater was a real treat, a wild night? The dazzling '20s where the dirtiest dancers were ditzy flapper girls and Charlie Chaplin was on everybody's mind? This weekend, Mary Institute Country Day School (MICDS) reminded audiences of the glory of the 1920s with its spectacular performance of "The Drowsy Chaperone."

"The Drowsy Chaperone" opens in the small apartment of a broadway musical fanatic, known to the audience only as Man in Chair. Man in Chair speaks to the audience for a couple of minutes, reminiscing about the wonders of old-time Broadway shows. To explain to the audience just how incredible the old musicals were, he slipped in a record of his favorite show from the Twenties, "The Drowsy Chaperone." As the record is played, the stage transforms into the set for "The Drowsy Chaperone."

This "play within a play" is about a starlet, Janet, who is giving up her long-time career as an actress to marry the love of her life, Robert. Meanwhile, big time producer Feldzieg is desperately trying to keep Janet from marrying Robert, because his career as a producer depends on her remaining a star. Matters are worsened for Feldzieg when two gangsters show up incognito and demand that he keep her from marrying, "or else." Other colorful characters including Spanish ladies-man, Adolpho, and the bubbly flapper girl, Kitty.

Devin Chabot did an excellent portrayal of Man in Chair. Everything from hand gestures to head movements perfectly embodied his character. He kept the audience captivated by his dry humor and dramatic emotions. He was certainly a great attribute to the show.

"The Drowsy Chaperone," the alcoholic woman who is supposed to be keeping her eye on the bride, is played by Lily Reed, who did an outstanding job! She excited everyone in the theater with her hilarious songs and perfect comedic timing. She was truly remarkable.

Other characters who added to the humor of the show were Kitty, played by Katherine Bush, and Adolpho, played by Edward Wroten. The two could always be counted on for a good laugh, and kept their high energy throughout the performance. Janet (Erin Holiday) and Robert (Alex Bush) were also fun, lovable characters.

The set for this performance was incredible. The very realistic, yellow-walled apartment of Man in Chair was certainly well done, and the elaborate wedding mansion beautifully illustrated the essence of the play. The great, red airplane added a something extra to the show as well.

MICDS did an excellent job with its performance. The audience was reminded of the beauty of the old days and enjoyed every minute of it!

Laura Townsend is a student at Clayton High School.

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