The Drowsy Chaperone
This Valentine’s weekend, the Keyano Theatre Company is inviting us on a journey back to the glitz and glamour of the 1920’s, where a wedding is about to take place, the story told by an effervescent man in a chair.
This season’s musical The Drowsy Chaperone is often described as “a musical within a comedy”, and pokes fun at all things amazing, cheesy and entertaining about musical theatre. The Drowsy Chaperone sees a familiar face returning to Keyano in director Darold Roles, who was the theatre’s Artistic Director and also directed several shows, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Evita and The Wizard of Oz. “Keyano Theatre has a rich history of some lush production values, creative designs, exciting music and drama and some very fine performances” Darold says. “I love how The Drowsy Chaperone spoofs everything we love (or don't love) about musical theatre. It’s very cleverly written, with great gags and memorable tunes.”
The Drowsy Chaperone might not be the most well-known musical, but its incredible humour and charming characters has made it a production dream for many. Production Designer Erin T. Gruber first saw it about ten years ago, and it’s been on her wish list ever since. “It’s the perfect show for anyone who makes, loves, or loathes musical theatre” she says. “The 1920s, or at least the way we choose to remember them onstage, is a glamourous era, full of a sense of ‘living for today’. It’s such good fun to evoke onstage. Anything with that much glitter, beads and fur is always a riot to bring to life for an audience and getting to explore the juxtaposition between a sort of ‘seedy’ and slightly sad contemporary reality with the ‘joie de vivre’ of the roaring 20s is a real treat. Nostalgia is one of our most potent tools in the theatre visually and this show really harnesses that power.”
Helen Killorn, who plays Janet van de Graff, the starlet about to tie the knot, grew up performing on stages all over Prince Edward Island, then attended the Music Theatre Performance program at St Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario. Since graduating, she has worked on countless projects across Canada. This will be her first production at Keyano, after moving here a year ago. ”Janet is this great combination of being a starlet and a lover, a little self absorbed with great comedic moments. She’s been on my bucket list for years, and I think my favourite thing about her is the challenge tackling a character like Janet brings. And I say, bring it on!” Helen says. “I’m so excited to become a part of the arts scene here” she says. “There is so much talent in this town, and from the short amount of time we have spent together, I can already tell that I am going to enjoy bringing this show to life with each and every member of our cast and crew.”
Dianne Pare, who plays the titular Drowsy Chaperone, encourages everyone is Fort McMurray to come out and enjoy this hilarious production: “The Drowsy Chaperone” is one of those shows where everyone will get something from it. It’s light hearted, funny, quick-witted, and pokes fun at “showbiz” through the eyes of a narrator. Each person on stage lives and works in Fort McMurray, and although we are called “amateurs” nothing is farther from the truth. I know I was blown away by the talent we have, I know you will be too. Besides, who doesn’t love a night out?”
The Drowsy Chaperone is written by Bob Martin and Don Keller, with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.
Preview night: February 15, 8 PM
Opening night: February 16, 8 PM
Show dates: Feb 17, 22, 23, 24, 8 PM
Tickets are available at the Keyano Theatre Box Office or by visiting keyano.ca/theatre