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October 03, 2018 : Rehearsals Underway for Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s Fall Production

By Brooke Arnold

 

“The Drowsy Chaperone”, a five-time Tony Award winning musical, is a loving send up of the Jazz Age musical featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another. With the house lights down, a man in a chair appears on stage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life and “The Drowsy Chaperone” begins as the man in the chair looks on. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan, and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight. Hailed by New York Magazine as “The Perfect Broadway Musical”, “The Drowsy Chaperone” is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theatre genre.aaron

 

“Mix-ups, mayhem, and a gay wedding” is an accurate catchphrase for this upcoming production and the cast is taking it on wholeheartedly as rehearsals begin for this madcap musical farce. Aaron Lawson, who plays the role of the “Man In The Chair”, is delighted to be a part of this cast. When asked why people should attend the show, he said, “Everyone needs to see this show because you’ll find a little bit of yourself in at least one character. There is such a wide array of characters you’ll certainly relate to one of them. And you can’t help but laugh at how big and crazy this show is. If you’re looking for a good time, come see this show. You’ll come away smiling and laughing”.

 

Onbrentone of the reasons audiences will walk away smiling is the extravagant song-and-dance numbers in the show. In order to perform these numbers, several cast members are learning new skills as a part of their role in the show. Brenton LeuVoy, playing the role of Robert Martin, the groom, is taking on the challenge of tap dancing. One of his songs, “Cold Feets”, requires a significant amount of tap. Brenton commented on the most challenging part of the show, saying that “the tap is definitely the most challenging part for me. The pressure of being onstage tapping, sometimes by myself or with as little as one other dancer, is a very exciting new challenge for me”.

brooke

Brooke Arnold, who plays the role of Janet Van De Graaff, the actress leaving the stage for love, also has to tap dance in several numbers. However, she says the biggest challenge she has in the show is learning the splits. “One of my first numbers in the show is a five-minute number that includes tap dancing, several costume changes, and the splits. Working stretching into my daily routine has been a challenge, but it is definitely going to be exciting to be able to do the splits!” While Brenton LeuVoy and Brooke Arnold are familiar to the Ohio University Lancaster Theatre stage, the cast also includes new members, such as Harrison Poor, a freshman at OUL.

 

Harrisoharrisonn plays the role of George, the harried best man who is frantically trying to make the wedding run smoothly. He is enjoying the incredible learning experience of being a part of a college production. “Being in “The Drowsy Chaperone” as a freshman has been a very fun and eye-opening experience for me. I’ve already learned so much and I’m eager to be able to be a part of this amazing cast!”

 

Christina Bernthold plays the titular role of the Drowsy Chaperone, the always-drowsy chaperone of the bride. She is also the vocal music director of the show and has been working hard with the cast to perfect harmonies and vocal parts. Christina is excited to share the show with audiences and loves the fun and energy of “The Drowsy Chaperone”. She shared that her favorite part in the show is “the last scene because all of the energy and mayhem of the entire show builds up to this grandiose, spectacular, final number that leaves audiences wanting more of the show”.christina

 

“The Drowsy Chaperone” opens November 29, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and runs through December 2, 2018 at 2 p.m. Online tickets are available at https://commerce.cashnet.com/oul-theatre. The box office is open Monday - Friday, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 pm beginning Wednesday, October 17. It is also open one hour before the shows. The phone number is 740-681-3353.

 


THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com