The Drowsy Chaperone is anything but drowsy

Lucy Adame, Staff Writer

David Carter’s production of  The Drowsy Chaperone exceeded the expectation of a typical high school production. This musical kept the audience laughing non-stop, and made the room fall in love with every character, even the annoying ones.

The Drowsy Chaperone takes place in a theater fanatic’s small apartment. “The Man in Chair” plays the record, and starts to imagine what the production would look like in his head. It then comes to life in his living room. The story follows the bride-to-be Janet van de Graff and her groom, Robert Martin, on their hectic wedding day.

The Man in Chair was played by senior Dillon Lares. His performance of a theater fanatic was simply amazing in every way. Throughout the whole production, he never lost this drive, and kept his emotion to a very believable state. He rocked Carter’s cardigan, and owned the stage completely.

Janet van de Graaff was played by senior Megan Hernandez. Her voice during a scene of reflection with love, was what I felt to be forced and really cheesy. I think she needed to work more on the attitude for her character, because when I think ‘about to be retired’ showgirl, I think sassy and bubbly. I did not get that fully from her performance. Despite this opinion, I could not help but love her innocent character because I felt that the voice fit the type of character that she played.

Robert Martin (Janet’s groom) was played by  Konner Kienzle. Konner played this role perfectly. The mix of cockiness, richness, and being in love, really brought his whole character together. But the one thing that truly amazed me was his dancing. I know nothing of Konner’s dancing background, but from what I saw, all I can say is, dang… He was a crowed favorite that night. George (Robert’s man of honor) was played by Nik Alexander. He was the wing man of every man’s dreams. His voice accompanied Robert’s quite well in their duet, and his dancing skills were pretty solid.

Aldopho (a European) was played by Brian Bautista. This was my absolute favorite character of the whole production. Whenever Brain walked on stage, no matter what character he had to be, he sold every last bit of it. I was practically crying from laughter by intermission because his performance was so hilarious and I could not take my eyes off of him. He commanded for his presence to be known whenever he would be on stage, even if he was not the main point of attention.

The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet’s, to be exact) was played by Sabrina Astengo. Her performance of a sassy alcoholic was absolutely superb. Her powerful voice sent chills and her attitude kept her character alive. In a certain scene where she sings an “anthem to alcoholism” she owned the spotlight. No, she was the spotlight.

Ms. Totterham was played by Grace Taylor. Her character was an old hostess lady who was very forgetful. I feel that Grace’s voice was too quiet for her character and although she executed her character quite well, it was not memborable. Underling was played by Ronan Walsh. This role was the one serious person in the play. He executed it well with witty remarks and was defiantly a crowd pleaser when dealing with Ms. Totterham. I feel like Ronan fully committed to his character, but should work more on his facial expressions when it comes to being in these types of roles, because even though the play had a cheesy aspect to it, one must be careful to not over do it.

The two gangsters were played by Garrett Witzl and Evan Schreiber. These two men are partners in crime when it comes to this play. They complemented each other so well with their friendship, and it clearly showed in this production. Garrett and Evan really know how to sell six pastry puns in row, and made me laugh every time they were on stage. They were goofy and I could not help but love these two characters when they began to sing together. Usually, one would expect them to be there just for the jokes, but they really came through with their voices and choreography.

Mr. Feldzieg was played by Tristin Brown and Kitty was played by Cassidy Millonzi. These two really played off each other in this production. Tristin had this energy that fit his crazy character, and Cassidy really fit her character of a loud, crowd-hungry showgirl. Not in the bad way, but in the way of saying that she was hysterical and really drew all eyes to her when she was on stage. Both of their characters where well played and both were hilarious. With that being said, I felt like their characters needed a bit more… oomph. With Tristin’s character’s goals and Kitty’s goals, I think they would need to be a tad bit crazier because of the crazy thing that they want, and the things they did to get it.

Trix, the aviatrix, was played by Noelle Elise. Trix is a minor role, but Noelle defiantly made it stand out with her vocals. She thoroughly played her part from the moment she got on stage to the last note of the whole production.

With an amazing plot, comes amazing settings. The whole spectacle takes place in The Man in Chair’s apartment. The construction was done really well, it seriously looked like a living room and kitchen from an apartment in New York. David Carter really did think of clever ways to change something simple, and that made a load of a difference in the production. The interesting thing is that the entire cast used the stage to its fullest potential that I forgot about the whole setting. It did not phase me until the very end that this whole thing took place in a simple apartment, and I was very impressed with the little time needed to assemble Trix’s airplane on stage.

The Drowsy Chaperone is definitely one of La Serna’s best productions. It includes an amazing cast and is filled with humor, romance, spit takes, and amazing tap dancing. What more could you want?

The Drowsy Chaperone’s final performance is tonight at the La Serna Cafe.