Riverland Community College Theatre and Music departments will transport audiences into the magical, wonderful world of The Drowsy Chaperone, the musical comedy on stage at the Austin Campus’ Frank W. Bridges Theatre Feb. 27 through March 9.
This musical was the darling of the Tony awards in 2006, winning the most statues including best book of a musical for Bob Martin and Don McKellar and best musical score for Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.
This show-within-a-show begins when a die-hard musical fan, simply called Man In Chair, imagines performers coming to life in his shabby apartment whenever he plays his favorite cast album, a 1928 hit called The Drowsy Chaperone. Throughout the performance, the musical bursts to life as the Man in Chair continuously brings the audience in and out of the fantasy. Audiences are instantly immersed into the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast and the audience soaring into the rafters.
Riverland Theatre Director Lindsey Duoos Williams directs and choreographs The Drowsy Chaperone. Jan Matson is the musical director. The set and lighting designer is Jim Mallek. The costumes are by Carley Carranza and Jennifer Wiebrand. The production is stage managed by Melissa Johnson.
“I fell in love with this show the first time I saw it,” said Williams. “I had the same reaction as most people when I read the title—‘Huh?’ It’s a terrible title! Then I saw it, and it’s one of the funniest shows I have ever seen—I laughed until it hurt. The Drowsy Chaperone is a giant love letter to musical theatre—it makes fun of every stereotype and convention, but ultimately it’s a celebration of the art form.”
The cast of The Drowsy Chaperone includes Lia Culbert as Mrs. Tottendale (Austin), Ben Deines as the Superintendent/Ensemble (Austin), James Douglass as the Man in the Chair (Rochester), Ellie Dyke as Ensemble (Austin), Alexa Ferguson as Ensemble (Lyle), Randy Forster as Feldzeig (Austin), Brian Gorman as Aldolpho (Austin), Zachary Huggan as Gangster #1 (Austin), Matt King as Gangster #2 (Austin), Charli Martin as Ensemble (Austin), Emily McAlister as Janet Van de Graaf (Austin), Lindsey McAlister as Kitty (Austin), Kaye Perry as the Drowsy Chaperone (Austin), Amoe Sato as Ensemble (Japan), Micah Strobel as Robert Martin (Austin), Emma Waters as Trix/Ensemble (Dexter), Eric Williams as George (Le Roy), Jessica Williams as Ensemble (Brownsdale) and James Zschunke as Underling (Austin)
“I have wanted to direct this show for a long time and I’m thrilled that I have my ‘dream cast,’ Williams said. “We have a number of community members that our audiences will recognize from past roles—James Douglass, Kaye Perry, Lia Culbert, Randy Forster. Alongside them, we have our immensely talented current crop of students. Freshman Emily McAlister is going to wow everyone as the bride-to-be, Janet, and sophomore Emma Waters gets to show off her powerhouse pipes as Trix, the Aviatrix.”
The Drowsy Chaperone will be performed Feb. 27, 28, March 1, 6, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m and Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m.
Individual tickets to The Drowsy Chaperone are $16 and currently on sale at www.riverland.edu/tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online ticketing system allows customers to choose their seats and pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets may also be purchased at the Riverland Box Office, located in room E107 in the East Building of the Austin campus. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one hour before performances. Riverland students receive two free tickets to each performance with a valid student ID. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Drowsy Chaperone is recommended for audiences 12 and older and contains mild adult humor. Riverland Theatre strives to provide quality productions that are entertaining and challenging to both the audience and the artists. Because we reach such a diverse audience, some audience members may find some subject matter, language, or situations objectionable. If you have concerns about a specific production, we encourage you to become familiar with the material before attending the performance.
Riverland’s Theatre Department is a high-energy performance-oriented program. Plays produced vary from classical tragedy to modern comedy and from full-scale large cast musicals in intimate small cast plays. Students are encouraged to get involved in all areas of theatre production including, but not limited to, acting, stage managing, set building and painting. Strong academic offerings provide challenges in and out of the classroom.