Music and Lyrics by LISA LAMBERT &
Book by BOB MARTIN & DON McKELLAR
DOWNEAST ENERGY & BUILDING SUPPLY
BATH SAVINGS INSTITUTION
NORTON INSURANCE & FINANCIAL
Starring (L to R):
CHARLES ABBOTT, LARA SEIBERT, TYLER HANES, CHARIS LEOS, CURT DALE CLARK,
KAREN K. EDISSI, JOHN-CHARLES KELLY, KAREN HYLAND, BILL BATEMAN, MARC KESSLER,
RAYMOND MARC DUMONT, KALIA LYNNE, JACOB TOTH and MICHAEL BIREN
The Drowsy Chaperone is an homage to American musicals of the Jazz Age.
Act one begins with Man in Chair, a mousy, agoraphobic Broadway fanatic whose coping mechanism for "non-specific sadness" involves listening to an old record of a classic 1928 musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. By the time the first note sails out of his speakers, he’s been transported to a magical dream world, one where the actors in the recording enter his dingy apartment and transform it into a gloriously garish set complete with seashell footlights, sparkling furniture, painted backdrops, and costumes that would put the Ice Capades to shame.
The show-within-a-show centers on Janet Van De Graff, a showgirl and star of "Feldzieg’s Follies", giving up the stage to marry oil tycoon Robert Martin. Janet’s producer, Feldzieg, receives pressure from two pun-happy gangsters in the employ of the chief investor of Feldzieg’s Follies disguised as pastry chefs to ensure that the wedding does not take place. To ensure this, he enlists the help of Aldolpho, an over-the-top Latin Lothario, to seduce the Bride. Meanwhile, Janet develops cold feet, and a massive misunderstanding emerges between her and Robert. What follows is a pastiche of every classic, clichéd plot thread ever to grace the stage, including mistaken identity, spit-takes, phony French accents and the occasional deus ex machina, involving such stock characters as an unflappable English butler, an absent-minded dowager, a ditzy chorine, a harried best man, and, last but certainly not least, Janet’s "Drowsy" (read "Tipsy") Chaperone, played in the show-within-a-show by a blowzy Grande Damme of the Theater specializing in "rousing anthems" and not above upstaging the occasional co-star.
Watching from his armchair, Man in Chair is torn between his desire to absorb every moment of the show as it unfolds and his need to insert his own personal footnotes as he continuously brings the audience in and out of the fantasy. As the show goes on, more and more of his personal life is revealed through his musings about the show, until, as the record ends, he is left again alone in his apartment … but still with his record of a long-beloved show to turn to whenever he’s blue.