The Drowsy Chaperone Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison

Dates and Venue 22 November - 27 December 2008, 8pm | Playhouse Theatre

Director Max Reimer Choreographer/Assistant Director Dayna Tekatch Set Design Jean Claude Olivier Lighting Gerald King Costume Design Philip Carlson Stage Manager Laura McLean

Reviewer Jane Penistan

Just the thing for these gloomy days – a good, cheerful, funny musical, with catchy well played music, tuneful singing, great dancing and splendid acting and a humourous script. The Drowsy Chaperone has it all. Brilliantly directed by Max Reimer, this show has a beautiful set, superb on stage musicians and is so well lit that the light changes are almost imperceptible in their subtlety and suitability.

As the Man in the Chair Jay Brazeau is the centrepiece of the production, whose reminiscences and comments keep the various fast changing scenes connected. His comments are worth every penny of the ticket money! Added to this are the immense bonuses of the stellar performances of the other members of the cast, who people the dated musical comedies of other days. The Drowsy Chaperone herself (Gabrielle Jones) with her gorgeous contralto voice and her unchaperonesque behaviour enchants many more than Underling, the suave and well trained, fleetfooted manservant, (David Marr).

Janet, who sings like an angel, and Robert, her besotted fiancé (Debbie Titmuss and Laird Mackintosh) are the in and out of love lovers, who end happily in traditional style. No one could but be entranced by Nathalie Marrable in Kitty’s gymnastics and wonderful 1920’s original dumb blonde seductions. The precision and quick changes of the ever mobile gangsters, Shawn Macdonald and Neil Minor, keep the show at racing pace, whenever they surprisingly appear and reappear.

The villains are Adolpho (Thom Allison), a specious South American, and Fieldzieg, an impresario, (Mark Burgess). Add few other assorted characters all well played sung and danced and you have the recipe for a superbly successful evenings entertainment.

Don’t miss this one. Its like no other and quite the best musical to hit the Playhouse stage in these last few years.

© 2008 Jane Penistan