”˜The Drowsy Chaperone’ ”“ a musical send up littered with wry humour

By Manju Mittal

I am here to write about my first experience watching musical theatre play ”˜Drowsy Chaperone’, that was staged at Zenith theatre Chatswood, Sydney, indeed left an impression, a sweet impression. It was absolutely delightful to watch the play on Wednesday September 11, 2019. ”˜The Drowsy Chaperone’ gave one of the most physically engaging performances that I have seen on stage. Credit of this wonderful production goes to North Shore Theatre Company to have brought quality stage drama for theatre lovers who enjoy real theatre in today’s digital age.

The musical play summed the theme well. A loving send-up of American musical comedy from the 1920s, ”˜The Drowsy Chaperone’ charts the dream come true moment when a die-hard theatre fan plays his favourite cast album and the characters come to life in his living room. This five time Tony award winning show playfully pokes fun at musical theatre tropes.

From two lovers on the evening of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posting as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan, to an intoxicated chaperone, with enchanting music, spectacular dancing, dazzling costumes and commendable acting.

The cast is fairly huge but the undoubted star of the play is David Verdejo, who plays ”˜Man in chair’, a narrator of sorts who functions as our sometimes tipsy chaperone, guiding us through his favourite musical. His connection with the audience is impeccably strong. David who stole our hearts and other actors did equally well in this musical tale; special mention to King of romance Luke Bawejo who was wonderful as Aldolpho.

As the play runs for two and half hours with one Interval and we slowly move through the stages where we flow from dialogues to capturing the wry humour. Behind the scenes of this spectacular show is Kelly Horrigan, director of the play, she gives all the credit of the show to her team and supporters.

I caught up with Kelly, who said humbly, after the show, “I am so proud of the entire cast & crew of ”˜Drowsy Chaperone’, and collaborating with highly talented artists and crew has been a delight.  The musical is based on the imagination of one man, and like a child playing alone it gets bigger every time he plays, so there is a lot of room for this production to grow and develop”.

The first Indian Actor Taufeeq Ahmed Sheikh, with his remarkable performance as Superintendent commented, “I consider myself fortunate playing small role in the play. It is a great play with excellent performance from all, culmination of a month of hard work”.

It was an evening worth witnessing of quality theatre, a musical is very funny farce that parodies the 1920s with lots of singing and dancing.  Do go and see this highly recommended play. I would encourage everyone to go and watch it. It is not only a musical drama as you will find lot of funny moments too. ”˜The Drowsy Chaperone’ plays at The Zenith Theatre from 6 to 15 September.

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