Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

2006 Tony Award winning musical comedy on stage at Newark High School

“The Drowsy Chaperone,”a hilarious spoof about 1920s American musical comedy, will be presented at Newark High School March 1-3.
This 2006 Tony award winner for both Best Book and Best Score is set in both in the present day and the roaring twenties. The clever show-within-a-show centers around a reclusive Broadway theater buff, who while listening to a record from his favorite 1928 musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” sees his dingy, New York City apartment transformed before his eyes into a Broadway set of the fictional musical with all of its characters, glitz and glam.

Why was this musical chosen over the standard Rogers and Hammerstein musicals presented by so many area high schools. “I am not one to do the same old shows. I like a show with some physical comedy, like this one,” said Director Steve Duprey. He said that, back in 2006, his wife had seen “The Drowsy Chaperone” in New York City and called him on the way home to rave about it. “You have to do this play” was her advice to him as a high school musical director. That chance came in time for this year’s Spring musical, as the play was just released for use to amateur theater groups.

“It’s a good, old-fashioned musical complete with mayhem, mix-ups, lovers and gangsters,” Duprey said.

The “Man in Chair” narrates, sharing his perspective and recollections of “The Drowsy Chaperone” and even, at times, becomes part of the show without the cast knowing it.

Directed by Duprey, now in his twelfth year of directing plays and musicals at NHS, “The Drowsy Chaperone” will be presented in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. March 1 and 2 and at 2 p.m. March 3.

NHS vocal music teacher Jean Bendix is the musical director; Emily Howard is the choreographer; NHS instrumental music teacher Dave Schwind is director of the pit band; and Mary Lou Bonnell is the piano accompanist.

The cast includes: Ryan Tracy as Man in Chair; Spencer Edmonds as Robert Martin; Jon Norris as “Aldolpho; Sam Wersinger as Underling; Tyre Smith as Mr. Feldzieg; Curtis Mason as George, Matthew Fedczuk as Gangster 1; Grant Howard as Gangster 2; Hannah Rothpearl as Janet Van de Graafff; Ashley Farley as The Drowsy Chaperone; Kathryn Brinkman as Mrs. Tottendale; Marina Ruffalo as Kitty; and Megan Kreuser as Trix the Avaitrix.

The ensemble includes: Kayla Baylard, Nelson Betances, Sherisse Briggs, Alexa Bushart, Mari Caporaso, Cyndi Coleman, Riley Collins, Tori Cramer, Makalah Crawford, Maria DeRenzo, Ethan Erway, Amanda Fagner, Brianna Ferguson, Alison Hoe, Elizabeth Kline, Bethany Kommer, Kaitlyn Lyman, Shea Matz, McKenna Martin, Brittney Morrison, Ricky Partridge, Alice Rosario, Bink Saligupta

The stage managers are Bri Adkins, Marleah Cunningham and the crew includes: Stu Blodgett, Kelly Bundschuh, Anthony Diamond, Catherine Erway, Andrew Garrett, Alana Greco, Ryan Kreuser, Joey Ruffalo, Dan Staples, Brittany Williams and Meghan Wright.
Tickets for “The Drowsy Chaperone” performances March 1-3 are $5 for students and senior citizens and $7 for adults and are at available at the door, at the Newark Wegman’s and at Reliant Credit Union.

Senior citizens may attend the final dress rehearsal of the “The Drowsy Chaperone” at 3:30 pm Feb. 28 followed by a $6 dinner in the NHS cafeteria for seniors wishing to participate.

The dinner will include chicken parmesan, rice pilaf, California mixed vegetables, salad, rolls, cookies, coffee, tea or milk.

Make a reservation for dinner by Feb. 26 by calling Deb Barry at 332-3265.