• Performances run November 16,17,18 and 20.
The Salt River Community Theater is producing their second musical comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which takes the stage Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday, November 16-18 and 20 at 7 p.m. in the historic Ford Theatre in downtown Afton.
With twice as many cast members as “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which came to life on the Ford stage in the fall of 2022, “The Drowsy Chaperone” is a typical golden-age musical set in the 1920’s that offers theater-goers overly dramatic conflicts and characters, and engaging plot twists.
“’The Drowsy Chaperone’ is billed as a musical within a comedy,” explained Tami Nielsen, who serves as the show director, in an interview with SVI Media last week. “It’s a show within a show and begins with a man in his apartment, ‘Man in Chair,’ who decides to listen to his favorite musical soundtrack, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone.’ It’s a musical he has never seen, so we see the musical as he imagines it taking place right in his apartment.”
Like the man on stage, whose imagination brings the musical to life, Nielsen had first listened to the musical soundtrack of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and later saw the musical on stage about ten years ago.
“I’d already listened to the charming soundtrack and loved the way the songs came together on the stage,” she shared. “I fell in love with the humor of the ‘Man in Chair’, and the other actors he was imagining. I relate so much to the ‘Man in Chair’ because I can’t tell you how many musicals I have imagined before I ever saw them on stage. I knew I wanted to be part of this show if I ever got the chance. ‘Drowsy’ is a musical that is often performed in small spaces, so I knew it would be just right for the Ford.”
In the story line, characters are gathering to celebrate the wedding of Robert and his sweetheart, Janet, who is a glamorous showgirl. Janet’s boss does not want her to leave show business, and chaos erupts, creating comical and engaging musical entertainment.
“This show is literally unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” exclaimed Nielsen. “The plot line of a show within a show is great! The characters are hysterical, and who doesn’t like a little slapstick comedy on the side as well. This is a show that not everyone knows, but once they’ve seen it, they fall in love with it! It will keep you laughing throughout and then maybe surprise you with a tear or two at the end. It is charming, funny, and a must see!”
Show producer Jaclyn Lechner promises “loveable characters” and “infectious music.”
“Bringing musical theatre productions to the valley has been such a fun, rewarding process,” added Lechner. “We love giving an opportunity to this community to perform on the stage again, as well as give the community an opportunity to see live theatre. We want to be able to continue bringing these productions to our Ford Theatre Stage. With amazing audiences, we can continue to make these productions possible.”
Technicians Brandon Burnham and his son, Maison, have built the set and designed the lighting for this production, and the cast members have worked extremely hard to prepare and present their best work. The theater organization is grateful for our generous sponsors whose support has made this performance possible.
“[This group has] created something they are proud to show the community and that the community will love,” concluded Nielsen. “Having support from great audiences is what will keep the community able to continue to produce quality shows like ‘The Drowsy Chaperone.’”
For tickets, visit saltriverarts.com.