Meta musical ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ change of pace for Mt. Vernon High School
April 20, 2017 · Nathan Countryman
Mount Vernon High School Drama department encourages the community to dust off an old LP and join them for the production of the musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone." Curtains rise at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, as well as 7 p.m. Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29.
Tickets are on sale in advance at the high school office and are available at the door for all performances.
"When we were looking for a musical to do this year, we decided to look for a musical that was completely different than 'Les Miserables,' the musical we did last year," said director Tom Stephens. "This was the best fit for that parameter."
With a narrator offering commentary throughout the show, "The Drowsy Chaperone" is a meta-musical about two lovers on the eve of their wedding.
"It's a very, very funny and witty script," said Stephens. "It's truly a love letter to musicals of the past. All of the principal cast have their own featured scenes and solos in the show, and their own character moments to shine."
Kate Margheim is student director of the production, which has 48 members in the cast and crew.
"The show is so funny," Margheim said. "I know it's not one a lot of people have ever heard of or know by name, but if they give the show a chance, they could really enjoy it."
Margheim said one of the interesting things for the show is the way the set has been constructed.
"A lot of our sets have traditionally been very stationary and one backdrop," Margheim said. "This show's living room transforms and moves throughout the production."
Matt Zobac, one of the students who is working on the set, said the technical details and moving elements were harder to make work, but it's under control.
"Other shows we've been scrambling to paint a bridge or screw portions of the set together until the last week of the show, but this show we're right on schedule," Zobac said. "The set is beautiful and it will be amazing to see how this all comes together."
Senior Simon Crocker is making his acting debut with the Mount Vernon drama department. He plays the narrator "Man in Chair," who is the audience's guide throughout all of the different hijinks.
"There are definitely a lot of lines to memorize in this piece," Crocker said. "The other challenge for me has been finding ways to stay indirectly involved with this production, as I'm the narrator, and I don't really interact with the other characters."
Crocker said the best part of the show, however, has been the people he has a chance to work with.
"This is a very funny show, and one I don't think people would regret coming to see," Crocker said.
Senior Aaron Barnhart is starring in his fourth musical with this production with the part of Feldzeig, a producer of a show losing its star if Janet goes through with her wedding.
"For me, the hardest part has been trying to keep a straight face," Barnhart said. "This is an incredibly funny show."
Ensemble actor Caroline See said that the dance numbers have been fun to learn during this production.
"The music has been a little tough to learn," See said. "This is a really funny show, however, and can give an audience a lot of really good laughs."
For ensemble actor Emily Friedman, the chance to hang out with fellow actors is her favorite part of the show.
"Learning the big dance numbers is a little tougher, however," Friedman said.
This is Friedman's third show, starring in "Les Miserables" and "Footloose" in the past.
"This is a really funny show, and the characters are very unique and captivating," Friedman said. "It has been a really fun show to be a part of."
Assistant director/stage manager