The Harbinger Online

SM East Theater Prepares for “The Drowsy Chaperone”

seniorchaseasingsanddancestocoldfeetCars linger in the parking lot well into the evening, choral vocals fill the abandoned school halls throughout the evening, the stage workshop fridge is stocked to the brim with Mountain Dew: the musical season is in full swing. Now entering the second of two tech weeks before show dates of Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 and 2, techies and actors travel in the dark. The sun rising well after their drive to school and street lights illuminating their way home.

The Drowsy Chaperone requires tap dancing numbers from several of the lead characters. Unlike a musical with a couple leads and various minors leads, The Drowsy Chaperone has three different strong subplots giving way to 15 equal and strong lead roles. This replaces the need for large musical dance numbers and a highly involved chorus. In attempt to counteract the nature of the script, chorus members are cameoed throughout the show in the form of shrubs, clouds and columns.

“I took tap over the summer at Miller Marley because I knew I really wanted to play Robert Martin,” senior Chase Ainsworth said. “Coming into Drowsy was fairly challenging but since we have had a lot of rehearsals it looks like a really solid musical number.”

This year introduces a new touring show, which will involve the actors driving to local elementary schools to perform selected songs and scenes for the young students. Since the show is of a more mature nature, this will replace the Kiddie Matinee when kids come to the East auditorium to enjoy the entire production.

The Kiddie Matinee would take place the Wednesday before the show and involve all the actor and crew members to be called out of class in order to set up the show and perform at 1 p.m. The cast will be touring next Friday and the scenes will be performed void of set, costumes and makeup, reducing the load of touring students to just the actors.

“It’s sad because tech puts in just as much effort as the cast members do,” Paint Crew Chief Jamie Leonard said. “It’s always a joy to see the little kids faces and excitement they have for the show we put on and tech doesn’t get to see that this time.”

Actors and crew members have worked to perfect the musical comedy. This American musical comedy parody, having won a Tony Award for Best Score, is well worth seeing. Audiences are taken on a journey as a Broadway fanatic walks them through his favorite 1928 musical adding his own humorous commentary throughout. The show is free with a student ID and $10 without. A large portion of the cast are seniors, including the lead Man in Chair, played by A.J. Orth. For them, this will be their last musical performance on the SME stage making the weeks of take-out dinners and extra-large triple shot espressos well worth it.

“I really love this for my senior musical because I feel a really close to the Man in Chair and the passion he has for musical theatre.” Orth said.

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