DANBURY, CONN. — A musical within a comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone” will come to the stage at Western Connecticut State University beginning this weekend. Presented by Western’s Department of Theatre Arts, performances will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016; Saturday, Nov. 12; Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19; with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Nov. 12; Sunday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 19; and a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.
Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score, the production plays homage to the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song-and-dance number after another. The show-within-a-show begins when a die-hard theater fan plays his favorite cast album, a recording of the fictitious musical comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As the record plays, the musical comes to life on stage with the characters appearing in his apartment. The audience is immersed into the glamorous and humorous tale of a starlet giving up fame for love, in the midst of scandal and surprises from the other uproarious characters looking to sabotage the nuptials. The man on the chair guides the audience through the story, adding humorous commentary throughout.
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Musical Theatre at Western Tim Howard will direct the show. Howard has directed/music directed more than 40 shows off-Broadway and regionally.
Howard said, “What I’m most excited about for the show is to bring this delicious, frothy musical to the Connecticut and New York audiences that may not have seen it.” He is also very enthusiastic about the collaboration with designers and choreographers Elizabeth Parkinson and Scott Wise. Parkinson won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical and has been nominated for a Tony award. Wise won the Tony Award in 1989 in the category of Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Their experience and professional expertise make them instrumental additions to the production, Howard added.
The cast includes Ryan J. Taylor, of New Fairfield, as Man in Chair; Sergio Mandujano, of Norwalk, as Adlopho; Jillian Caillouette, of Meriden, as Janet; Shaylen Harger, of Orange, as Drowsy Chaperone; Saige Bryan, of Norwalk, as Trix; Lauren Bell, of Southbury, as Mrs. Tottedale; Tyler Gallaher, of Wappingers Falls, New York, as Underling; TJ Swetz, of Poughquag, New York, as Robert; Nathan Clift, of Trumbull, as George; Eric Mckinley, of Prospect, as Feldzeig; Megan O’Callaghan, of Norwalk, as Kitty; Manuel Torres, of West Haven, as Gangster 1; Jared Starkey, of Colombia, as Gangster 2; and Joey Calabrese, of Harwinton, as Superintendent.
The ensemble includes Jessica Schwartz, Vanessa Knowlton, Jaclyn Mercer, Tyler Gallaher, Colin Gallaher, Thomas Bergamo and Michael Katz.
Western’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” will feature hilarious performances, catchy songs and dance numbers that will have the audience tapping their feet and holding their sides with laughter. Howard added, “You cannot go to the show and walk out without a smile on your face and humming the tunes.”
General admission is $25. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-drowsy-chaperone-tickets-26782549326 or call (203) 837-8732.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.