Back in 2006 my Aunt Katie was living in New York City while she was getting her masters degree. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and took 2 NYC trips that year and saw 9 shows between the 2 trips! It was an incredible time and we had a blast (Broadway lovers dream!). One of my favorite shows I saw then while it was still in previews is The Drowsy Chaperone. This hilarious show is both a roaring comedy and a loving tribute to the musical artform. I loved it then, and I loved it now seeing it yesterday at the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem!
The story of The Drowsy Chaperone is a simple one. It is led by ‘Man in Chair’ played by JD Ramey with lots of dry wit, who is a man with simple pleasures like listening to records of Broadway shows from the 20s and 30s. Today he has welcomed us into his apartment to learn about an old-school show called The Drowsy Chaperone. As he plays the records the show comes to life in his apartment with loads of satire about Broadway new and old.
I must say it feels extra poignant to watch this show in 2021 with Broadway just reopening. It can’t be denied that Broadway musicals are one of the great musical gifts America has given the world. To have it shut down was devastating. The Drowsy Chaperone reminds you of that legacy while also making you chuckle at the ridiculous nature of the artform.
The talent at SCERA is outstanding as usual with Tannah O’Banion stealing the show as the titular Chaperone and Devin Glenn is hilarious as the over-the-top Adolpho. I also enjoyed the choreography and the costumes. Samantha Frisby playing Janet Van de Graaf has some particularly quick costume changes, which they handled seamlessly.
There are some great songs in The Drowsy Chaperone such as “Show Off”. “As We Stumble Along” and “I’m an Accident Waiting to Happen”. These songs not only make us laugh as riffs on the songs of old-age musicals but then they also work as genuine songs. You’ll be singing all the songs on your way home from the show.
The Drowsy Chaperone is playing that the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem through Oct 9.
8 out of 10