Stumble along to Little Theatre’s final production of the year: The Drowsy Chaperone

By Eisa Hashmi

Features Contributor

This weekend Canisius’ Little Theatre will be putting on a musical unlike any other. The Drowsy Chaperone is a unique musical that travels back to the Roaring Twenties to draw inspiration, paying homage to that great era of musical theatre while also poking fun at it’s common tropes and now cliche story lines, resulting in a show that is incredibly funny and one of a kind.

The Drowsy Chaperone tells its story through the lense of a modern day character, played by Miles Keefe, who spends most of the show listening to the musical along with the audience and adding in his own comedic commentary. The musical he puts on for the audience is The Drowsy Chaperone, a fictional show that was supposed to have been written and performed in the 1920s.

The fictional play centers around a typical 1920s leading lady, Janet Van de Graaf, played by Katie Gaisser, who hopes to marry the handsome and dashing Robert Martin, played by Jackson DiGiacomo. Of course, the day of their wedding is made complicated by a cast of eclectic characters, which include, a sex-fueled European lady’s man, a talentless wanna-be leading lady who thinks she can read minds, and gangsters pretending to pastry chefs.

Really, you have to see this show.

The Drowsy Chaperone is filled with exciting musical numbers and great set pieces that bring the 20s back to life. The songs are both catchy and funny, and the cast has all the talent to do them more than enough justice.

Jazmine Boswell, the play’s director, spoke about the experience of bringing the show to life, saying, “Honestly, it’s been a lot of stress, but I have a good group of people behind me with great talent. It’s always going to be a lot of work but we worked together to put on a good show.” She went on to describe the show as “Wacky, ridiculous, cute, and ridiculous again, but by the end it has a deeper message.”

Junior Mike Alessi, who plays the over the top and crazy Aldolfo, echoed Boswell’s ideas about the show. He said, “It’s such a high energy and just fun show. I think ‘cartoony’ is the way I’d put it. Especially my character. I worked to make him really animated to the point that people would say, ‘Is this even a real person?’” Alessi also added, “This has been a really stressful semester for a lot of people and I think this could help take everybody’s mind off of it. It’s something to take you away for a little bit.”

Alyssa Kramer, who plays Mrs. Tottendale, might’ve described the show best, calling it “a whirlwind of comedy and romance and twists at every turn that you cannot see coming.” Kramer also spoke about why she thinks people would enjoy the show, saying, “It is honestly a very funny show. It has me laughing at almost every point.” She also added, “People should come out and support Little Theatre to see that we actually have a theater here at Canisius. And it’s free!”

Jackson DiGiacomo, who plays the show’s leading man, Robert Martin, talked a bit about the work that went into the show. He said, “We have a lot of fun. And when a cast has a lot of fun doing a show, it means the audience has the same amount of fun.” From the work the cast and crew put in, it’s easy to tell the amount of fun they had bringing these crazy characters to life.

As an audience member, you’ll find yourself experiencing just what DiGiacomo described. You’ll be tapping your feet and dancing in your seat to the wonderfully performed songs, and you’ll find yourself laughing throughout, never knowing what to expect next. Show times are at 8:00 p.m. Friday April 20, and on Saturday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. For guaranteed seats, email ltclub@canisius.edu.

 

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