~ Submitted by POMS, Patrons of Music Students
The Bedford High School Performing Arts Department will present The Drowsy Chaperone, the Tony-winning send-up of 1920s Broadway musicals, at 7 pm on November 18, 19, and 20 and 3 pm on November 21. Audience members are invited to attend in person in the BHS Auditorium or watch via livestream through ticket vendor ShowTix4U. Tickets are available through the Performing Arts Department website: https://bhschorusandtheater.weebly.com/tickets.html
The Drowsy Chaperone marks the first live, on-stage musical performance at BHS since 2019. The show-within-a-show pokes fun at musical tropes and the cult of celebrity, with a crowd-pleasing score and hilarious book. Unlike the spring musical, which typically features a large chorus and a handful of leads, The Drowsy Chaperone is a true ensemble show, with multiple leading roles and a balanced cast.
The Drowsy Chaperone is most appropriate for audiences in middle school and up. The show runs 90 minutes with no intermission. All audience members and performers must wear masks.
Director Katrina Faulstich is excited about the return to the stage. “The pandemic caused us to 1) cancel our completed 2020 show 23 hours before our opening performance; 2) rehearse and perform a play entirely on Zoom live from students’ houses—2020’s fall play She Kills Monsters; and 3) create a movie of an epic musical and stretch our creativity to its limits—2021’s spring film of Les Miserables,” she said. “It’s been a long 20 months full of many ups and many downs for our performing arts students. Although we are thankful for the things we were able to do last year, we are SO thankful for the return of live theater. Nothing beats the feeling of performing on stage for a live audience! The Drowsy Chaperone really is a celebration of theater and how it can be good for the soul. It has certainly been good for us.”
The show begins with the character Man in Chair, a rather awkward homebody, inviting the audience to join him as he listens to his favorite record—the cast album of the fictional musical The Drowsy Chaperone, which centers around the wedding of showgirl Janet Van de Graff and her dashing beau, Robert Martin.
As the recording plays, the Man in Chair introduces the characters and the actors who played them, ranging from Janet’s desperate producer and his ditzy girlfriend to a ridiculous Latin lothario to the title character—Janet’s maid of honor and an impressive lush. Gradually the drama of the show and the real-life struggles of Man in Chair intersect, with a finale that celebrates the many ways musical theatre can move and inspire us no matter what.
Senior Mary Couvée, who plays Kitty the girlfriend, said, “I think The Drowsy Chaperone is a really great show for our comeback to live theater. It’s energetic, fun, and the cast is tight-knit—it’s going to be an amazing experience for everyone both onstage and off.”
Sophomore Jacob Choi, who plays Robert, is happy to be back on stage. “Working with the high school has been a stressful and fun experience for me,” he said. “I had to learn tap dancing and roller skating in less than two months. It was the first time I’ve tap danced and roller-skated in my life. I think it was a great challenge for me and I had so much fun learning it. I also missed working in musical theatre, because the last time I performed was in 2019 when I was in Guys and Dolls, Jr. at the middle school, and the last time I was on stage rehearsing for a show was in 2020 during Frozen, Jr. I’m so glad that I’m able to go back into the world of musical theatre. It has been a blast working with the cast and crew of The Drowsy Chaperone!”
Junior Connor McClung plays the narrator, Man in Chair. “Working on the show has been an amazing experience, as always. It’s great that we can finally come back to an in-person performance after so long (I’m a junior and this will be my first live musical performance at BHS). For me, this has been the highlight of the year.”
Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students for in-person attendance and $14 per device for live stream. In-person tickets are sold as general admission, and seats will be assigned prior to showtime, maintaining an appropriate distance between groups. In-person attendees should purchase all their seats for a particular performance in one transaction, to ensure all members of the group are seated together. The online box office for in-person tickets will close seven hours prior to the performance time, but tickets will still be available at the door and for streaming.
The cast includes Connor McClung (Man in Chair), Carolyn Crews (Mrs. Tottendale), John Mitchell (Underling), Jacob Choi (Robert), Healy Weisman (George), Aashu Budhathoki (Feldzieg), Mary Couvée (Kitty), Ben Couvée (Aldolpho), Ellie Mitchell (Janet), Heather Anderson (the Drowsy Chaperone), Maddie McAllister (Trix), Cate Galante and Zoe Kramer (Gangsters), Shannon Sullivan and Rachel Gould (Reporters), Kai Etringer (Superintendent), and ensemble members Eve Fombu, Mary Stewart, Quinn Turner, Rayhan Semy, and Dylan DeJesus.
The student pit orchestra, directed by Evan Grunwald, includes Parker Anderson-LaPorte, Bryan Bai, Hugh Gilroy, Colin O’Toole, Ben Sedran, Zachary Shen, Eric Zhang, and Emily Zhu.
Sarah Wirth and Tommy Desjardins are the stage managers, overseeing crew members Annie Bernstein, Giulia Caico, Jackie Cutrona, Charlie Desjardins, Alex Doherty, Amelia Dyer, Angela Gu, Nick Guetersloh, Cynthia Li, Andrew Lum, Diya Singh, Maya Singh, Katelynn Sullivan, Zach Wirth, and Druthi Yuvaraj.
About The Drowsy Chaperone
The Drowsy Chaperone is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison; book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar. The original Broadway production of The Drowsy Chaperone was produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Bob Boyett, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag, and Jill Furman.