Robert Dorfman and Georgia Engel in "The Drowsy Chaperone"
photo by Joan Marcus

"The Drowsy Chaperone" (The Fox Theater)

"The Drowsy Chaperone" was awarded five Tony Awards in 2006 and once you have seen this show you know why. It has it all and more. The "all" is singing, dancing and comedy; the "more" is a quirky script that isn't to be believed until seen. And you can see it all at the Fox Theater in Atlanta where this musical comedy is playing through Sunday January 27.

"The Drowsy Chaperone" is a play within a play - of sorts. As the curtain goes up you hear the voice of a man (Jonathan Crombie) who seems to be obsessed with the musicals of the twenties. The lights come up and you see him in his apartment. As he talks he takes out a record and puts it on the record player. It is, he explains, one of his favorite musicals of the twenties and it is titled "The Drowsy Chaperone."

As the music comes out of the record player the musical comes to life on the stage. Suddenly a whole cast of people is gathered to prepare for a wedding. There is the hostess, Mrs. Tottendale (Georgia Engel), who is a little ditsy. Still she wants to have a wonderful wedding for Bob (Mark Ledbetter) and Janet (Andrea Chamberlain).

The Drowsy Chaperone (Nancy Opel) is the woman who accompanies Janet to the wedding. She is inclined to drink a little and drinking makes her drowsy. But she has enough energy to join in the songs and dances as they arise in the show.

Engel is the most recognizable actor in the play and she still has the sweet naiveté she showed on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." She is delightful to watch and is quite the dancer and singer. The rest of the cast is unknown but they show marvelous voices and skillful dancing - especially Chamberlain.

Even with all this marvelous talent on the stage, the show belongs totally to Crombie. It is written to be his and he takes it into his hands at the start and keeps it there until the very end. His character is merged into the imaginary cast and watching him become absorbed is a delight.

The show gets a little racy in spots so children might ask some embarrassing questions about what was said. For adults however this is a show that shouldn't be missed. You will find yourself smiling from ear to ear as the show progresses, and when you leave the theater your feet will be tapping and you will be humming "As We Stumble Along."

Don't let this show get away without you seeing it. Remember it is at the Fox Theater in Atlanta through Sunday, January 27. Rush to see it now!
 

 

 

 

 

©2008 Jackie K. Cooper

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