Following the success of their last co-production, 2019’s multiple Brickenden Award-winning “Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Musical Theatre Productions and Allswell productions are once again joining forces to create magic with “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
“The Drowsy Chaperone” is running at the Grand Theatre’s Auburn Stage now through May 20.
Often described as a true love letter to the golden age of musical theatre, “The Drowsy Chaperone” strikes a refreshing balance between the past with its sweeping overture, gorgeous costumes, and big dance numbers and the present, represented by hilarious set pieces, sharp dialogue, and an intimate setting.
Photo Ross Davidson
This show is a one-act musical comedy about a slightly agoraphobic man, sharing with the audience an LP of his favourite Broadway musical, the titular “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As the record plays, his living room comes to life to tell the story of the marriage between Janet Van De Graaf, a show business diva, and Robert Martin, an oil tycoon.
The show originated as a gift of skits and gags created by a group or friends and performed at the stag and doe party for real life actors, Bob Martin and Janet Van De Graaf. Bob loved it so much he turned it into a Toronto Fringe Show.
From there, it was workshopped, then picked up by Mirvish, and eventually made its way to Broadway, opening on May 1, 2006. This show is an important part of Canadiana musical theatre and by showcasing it, Allswell and MTP are continuing the Canadian tradition of excellence in theatre!
This production features a live orchestra and a cast of 18 actors, supported by a team of more than 20 creative and technical minds. At the heart of the production lies a community of artists in London Ontario who love musical theatre and want to share their love with this city.
The show stars Jesslyn Hodgson as Janet Van De Graaf. Hodgson is an actor in the Canadian theatre scene, who was recently nominated for a Brickenden Award for her portrayal of ‘Marcy’ in Allswell Production of “Dogfight.”
Jesslyn Hodgson and company. Photo Ross Davidson
The musical runtime is 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are available at the Grand Theatre website and are $33 each or $25 for groups of more than 15 people.
The production’s producer, Regine Li stated: “We have had so much fun exploring, rehearsing, and performing this material, yet after almost 5 months, we’re still laughing just as hard, if not more. We truly believe this will be one of the most fun evenings or afternoons audiences can have in a theatre all year.”
When asked her favourite moment in the show, Regine Li said “my personal favourite moment in the show comes near the end, when Trix the Aviatrix crashes the party (literally), then officiates the wedding of the couples before flying everyone off to Rio for their honeymoon. It is a real spectacle and feast for the eyes.”
This show is sure to entertain, tickets are on sale now.
Photo Ross Davidson
Allswell and MTP’s Drowsy Chaperone
Through May 20
Book tickets online
Podcast with Bob Martin.
As well as discussing the 150 drafts he wrote of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Bob Martin discuss his work on:
“Elf: The Musical”
and TVs “Slings & Arrows”