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Photo Gallery - The Drowsy Chaperone

The Drowsy Chaperone

The Drowsy Chaperone - Principals


This fabulous show was loved by cast and audiences alike. Just goes to prove that there are some real musical gems that get away! It was thanks to MCP's illustrious Broadway friend that we performed this show. As when asked to recommend a show to follow the Producers he suggested Drowsy a show he had recently orchestrated. Thanks Larry, we had a ball!!

 

The lovely Man In Chair (Robert Hinton) a mousy,

agoraphobic Broadway fanatic, seeking to cure

his "non-specific sadness", listens to a recording of

the (fictional)1928 Gable and Stein musical comedy,

The Drowsy Chaperone. As he listens to this rare

recording, the characters appear in his dingy

apartment, and it is slowly transformed into a

theatre set with complete with painted backdrops,

and glitzy costumes. Man in Chair provides a running

commentary throughout the show about the show

itself and the backstage gossip of the stars that played

them...

As the overture plays the Man makes himself a cup of tea and settles himself down to listen to his LP.

In the opening number, "Fancy Dress", the premise and

characters of the show are introduced: it's the day of

the wedding of oil tycoon Robert Martin and Broadway

star Janet Van De Graaff, who plans to give up her

career for married life. Those in attendance include ditsy

hostess Mrs. Tottendale (AlexHinton); her loyal employee

known only as Underling (Stephen De Launey); Who

suddenly appear in the Man's apartment; Unfortunately

poor Mrs T has no idea why she is wearing her "Fancy Dress"

but as soon as the guests start to arrive she gets the idea!

Oh yes "Is there going to be a wedding?"

Magically the fridge door opens and out comes Robert, the bridegroom (Theo Millward) who's here to marry glamorous star Janet Van De Graaff aided of course by his best man the highly organised George (Tom Saxton)

Next to arrive is Janet's producer Feldzeig (Robert Gibbs)

Who is determined to stop the wedding at any cost. He

hopes to persuade Janet to forgoe her marriage as he

doesn't want to loose the star of Feldzeig's Follies!

As ever Feldzeig is accompanied by his wanna be long term girlfriend the lovely dumb blond Kitty (Sian Archer) who has hopes of taking Janet's place in the Follies;

Enter the stars Chaperone (Michelle Hicken) on the hunt

as always for a little tipple to make her Drowsy! Her job?

To keep Janet away from Robert until the wedding;

Other guests include the fabulous Aldolpho (James Pinches) self-proclaimed famed Latin lover the "King of Romance!"

Whom Feldzeig asks to seduce Janet but.....

aldolpho

The final arival is the bride herself. The glamourous

Janet Van De Graaff (Lauren Bellingham)

So the lovebirds are together. But will the course of true love run smoothly? Of course not, this is a musical!

Other Wedding guests included the Pastry Chefs

(Paul Bromley and Stuart Main), two gangsters in

disguise, who are also determined that Janet should

continue working with Feldzeig to avoid their boss being

very angry!

 

The gangsters reveal to Feldzieg that their boss has invested in the Follies and wants to make sure the show is a financial success, which it presumably wont be without Janet. They tell Feldzieg that he must sabotage the wedding and make sure Janet stays in show business.

Feldzieg enlists the vain, easily manipulated Aldolpho to seduce Janet and spoil her relationship with Robert.

Meanwhile, in his room, Robert (Theo Millward) realizes

that he is nervous about the wedding. To get rid of his

"Cold Feets", he tap dances, and George, who is also

nervous, joins in the dance.

George notes that tap dancing could be injurious, so he suggests that Robert go roller skating in the garden instead, while wearing a blindfold to keep him from seeing Janet.

Outside by the pool, Janet tells reporters that she is

happy to be getting married and ostensibly doesn't

want to be an actress anymore , but her song evolves

into a big production number where she proves she

is a "Show Off" .

 

In Janet's room, Janet is having doubts about whether Robert really loves her, and she asks the Chaperone for advice. The Chaperone responds with the extemporaneous "As We Stumble Along", a "rousing anthem to alcoholism", which, Man in Chair explains, the original actress Beatrice Stockwell who is playing the Chaperone insisted on including in the show. Huge Star that she was she got her way. More helpfully, the Chaperone tells Janet that she is feeling "drowsy" and must take a nap, giving Janet the opportunity to ask Robert if he loves her. Janet leaves for the garden...

...and Aldolpho enters, mistaking the Chaperone

for Janet. The Chaperone happily pretends to be

Janet and allows Aldolpho to "seduce" her "I Am Aldolpho".

Meanwhile in the garden Janet meets the blindfolded and roller-skating Robert, and she pretends to be a French woman, "Mimi" to test his love. She asks Robert how he met his bride, and he describes their love struck first meeting "Accident Waiting to Happen". Carried away by his emotions, Robert kisses "Mimi" because she seems just like Janet. Janet furiously storms off because Robert has "kissed a strange French girl".

The gangsters confront Feldzieg, threatening him

with a murderous "Toledo Surprise" because he has

not yet succeeded in cancelling the wedding.

But Feldzieg distracts them by insisting that they actually have singing and dancing talent, and they turn "Toledo Surprise" into an upbeat dance number. At the end of whitch Aldolpho, with the Chaperone on his arm, announces that he has seduced the bride and the wedding is therefore cancelled, but Feldzieg angrily tells him he has seduced the wrong woman. Janet announces that she is cancelling the wedding, and Robert protests in vain that he only kissed "Mimi" because she reminded him of Janet.

 

Man in Chair announces that this is the end of the

first act and the first record of the two-record set.

He puts the second LP on for the audience to enjoy

saying that the audience can listen to the opening

of the second act of The Drowsy Chaperone, while

he visits the restroom.

The curtain rises to... a scene set in an ornate oriental palace, with characters in stereotypical oriental costumes...

... with Aldolpho as an Emperoro and the Chaperone

costumed as an Edwardian Englishwoman "Message

from A Nightingale". Man in Chair hurriedly lifts the needle,

explaining to the audience that that was the wrong

record--it was the musical The Enchanted Nightingale,

not the second act of The Drowsy Chaperone. He finds

the right record, and The Drowsy Chaperone continues with...

A musical dream sequence. Janet laments her lost romance and decides to return to the stage "Bride's Lament".

As she sings to a Crescent Moon, which as the

Man In Chair points out is a little odd as its the

middle of the afternoon, she is joined by figures

from her imagination including...monkeys!

Mrs. Tottendale tells Underling that she is sure the wedding will proceed as planned because "Love is Always Lovely" in the end and she reveals to Underling that she is in love with him.
The Chaperone announces that there will be a wedding after all: she and Aldolpho are getting married. Mrs. Tottendale announces that she and Underling are getting married as well. Robert tells Janet that he loves her, and she admits that she was really the French girl and agrees to marry him.

To appease the gangsters, Feldzieg tells them that he

has discovered a new star: Kitty. He asks her to

demonstrate her mind-reading talent, and when she

"reads Feldzieg's mind", she announces that he is asking

her to marry him!

George, now best man for all four weddings, realizes that he has failed at his most important task: finding a minister.

Cue Trix (Olivia Hewings) to land her plane in the garden,

announcing that she is about to depart for Rio. Aldolpho

points out that because a Captain on board a ship can

perform marriages surely a pilot, the Captain of an air

ship, can perform them on board her plane whilst also

flying them off to Rio for Honeymoon! "I Do I Do In The Sky!"

Of course!!

As the record reaches the finale and is just about to play the show's final chord, the power goes out in Man in Chair's apartment! A Superintendent arrives to check the circuit breakers, the power returns, and the final chord plays, but the Man In Chair is heartbroken at what he sees as a mood destroying disaster.

He sadly begins singing "As We Stumble Along" and

one by one the cast of The Drowsy Chaperone come

alive, join in and sing with him. Including his favourite

The Drowsy Chaperone herself.

As the curtain falls we see the Man leave his apartment

with The Drowsy Chaperone cast happy in his make

believe world.