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West Hartford Community Theater to Present ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ – a ‘Musical within a Comedy’

West Hartford Community Theater will present ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ for two weekends beginning Nov. 4.


West Hartford Community Theater is thrilled to announce its fall show, The Drowsy Chaperone by Lisa Lambert, Don McKellar, Bob Martin, and Greg Morrison.

Hailed by New York Magazine as “The Perfect Broadway Musical” and winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score, The Drowsy Chaperone is a hilarious and loving send-up of the Golden Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another.

With the houselights down, a man appears on stage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life in his apartment and The Drowsy Chaperone begins as the man looks on and weighs in. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight.

The cast features Rick Fountain as Man in Chair and Tracy Funke as the Drowsy Chaperone, with Steve O’Brien as Underling, Ariana Straznicky as Janet Van de Graaff, the bride-to-be, and Michael Robb as Robert Martin, her fiancé. Bob Janas will play theater producer, Feldzieg, and his wannabe starlet Kitty will be played by Mona Tiglio.  Nathan Holbrook will play George, Jenna Nikirk will portray Mrs. Tottendale, and Michael Cartwright will perform the role of Aldolpho. Cwen Williams stars as Trix the Aviatrix, Anna Kelly and Tim Grant as Gangsters and Randie Fierberg as Superintendant. The Ensemble cast includes Avery Allen, Lisa Camargo, Noreen Cavanaugh, Randie Fierberg, Naomi Scheinerman, Karen Shakun, and Izzy Steinberg.

Guided by Co-Producers and Co-Presidents of West Hartford Community Theater, Theresa Szymanski and Marybeth Lavelle, this musical will be the first larger cast musical since Mamma Mia in 2019.

“Coming off of the restrictions theaters faced during the pandemic, we chose smaller shows, but now we are excited to get back into it, and finally bring back a larger cast,” says Szymanski.  “Yes, and this is the type of fun, upbeat musical that WHCT is known for, and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!” says Lavelle.

Directed by Jane Cerosky with Musical Director Ben Mabrey, and Choreographer Jen Bunger, The Drowsy Chaperone is a masterful meta-musical, poking fun at all the tropes that characterize the musical theater genre within a comedy. “I love this musical so much because it really has something for everyone; you can enjoy all the things you love about musical theater, all while laughing at all the unusual things that theater-goers take for granted, the unique things that make musicals so delightful,” says Cerosky. “It’s a play within a play that is really a comedy, and it is so funny and touching. I’m thrilled to have such a great cast, because there are a lot of leading roles here, so we get to show off a lot of shining stars of the community,” she continues.

Jane Cerosky has performed and directed in the Hartford area for over 25 years. Previous directing credits include, The Producers, Nunsense, Anything Goes, Chicago, Secret Garden, Kiss me Kate, Oklahoma! and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Performances are Nov. 4 at 8 p.m., Nov. 5 at 2 p.m., Nov. 10 and 11 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m .at Duffy School, 95 Westminster Drive, West Hartford, CT. Tickets cost $25 in advance, and $30 at the door (Student tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, with school ID.) For tickets and more information visit www.whtheater.org

West Hartford Community Theater, Inc. (WHCT) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunity and access to programs and the performing arts for West Hartford and the surrounding communities. The Drowsy Chaperone is licensed by Music Theatre International. Support has been provided to West Hartford Community Theater from CT Humanities, with funding provided by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts from the Connecticut State Legislature.

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