Characters — Bobby Grainger, left, Colton Archey, Kyle Hadley, and Cassie March — from the record of an old musical come to life in the Man in Chair’s (Stuart Eldridge) apartment in a scene from the rousing musical-comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which opens Friday, Sept. 14 at the Woodland Opera House. Courtesy photo


‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ causes stir in Woodland Opera House

The Woodland Opera House Guild is proud to present the rousing musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
The show opens Friday, Sept. 14 and plays Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Oct. 7. There is an additional matinée on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is a show-within-a-show comedy that spoofs the 1920’s Ziegfeld Follies-style musicals with all of the mayhem, mix-ups, and old-time song and dance routines popular in that era.

It all begins when an agoraphobic, die-hard Broadway musical fan — Man in Chair — plays his favorite cast album on his turntable and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet trying to find, and keep, her true love.

As Man in Chair (Stuart Eldridge) listens to this rare recording of a fictional 1928 musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone,” he is transported into the musical. The characters appear in his dingy apartment that is transformed into an impressive Broadway set complete with glitzy costumes.

The plot of the show-within-a-show centers on Janet Van De Graaff (Cassie March), a showgirl who plans to give up her career in order to marry an oil tycoon, Robert Martin (Colby Salmon). However, Janet is the star of “Feldzieg’s Follies,” and a lot of money is riding on her name to sell the show; and  (Kyle Hadley), her producer, is being threatened with bodily harm by two pun-happy gangsters disguised as pastry chefs. The ensuing plot incorporates mistaken identities, dream sequences, spit takes, a deus ex machina, an unflappable English butler, an absent-minded dowager, a ditzy chorine, a harried best man and Janet’s “Drowsy” (i.e. “Tipsy”) chaperone, played in the show-within-a-show by a blowzy Grande Dame of the Stage (Elizabeth Nilsen), specializing in “rousing anthems” and not above upstaging the occasional co-star.

Additional cast members are Maria Ryken as Mrs. Tottendale, Bradley Moates as George, Ryan Adame as Adolpho, Don Noxon as Underling, Bobby Grainger and Colton Archey as the Gangsters, Jessica Larrick as Kitty, Eimi Taormina as Trix, Kaitlyn Avery as Super, and Kris Farhood, Franchesca Jiminez and Marissa Tidrick in the ensemble.

The show is directed by Bobby Grainger with choreography by Gino Platino and music direction by Bradley Moates.

Reserved tickets are available at www.woodlandoperahouse.org or (530) 666-9617. Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors and students, $12 for children 18 and under, $15 for adults in the balcony and $7 for children in the balcony. The Woodland Opera House box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Special to The Enterprise

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