Willow Manor Players Offer Great Fun with THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

by Dennis Bloh

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is a theater lover’s play. Our host for the evening, aptly names “man in chair” breaks the fourth wall by inviting the audience to share his reminiscence of his favorite Broadway musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. His narration leads us on a gay romp through a typical 20’s, 30’s musical. He injects his own commentary on the genre as well as the stars who play the characters. It never loses its homage to musicals that are written to entertain.

Unlike many groups, the Willow Manor Players do one musical each year. They spend the entire year in anticipation of their performances. It is this kind of preparation and enthusiasm that made their interpretation of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE such a winner.

As Man in Chair, Kevin Walters exudes generous amounts of charm and wit as he takes us with him on his journey through the whimsical world of the musical comedy. He seems to own the comments he makes which creates a genuineness in his presentation. The rest of the cast is equally wonderful and right in their roles. Some standouts were Jack Sariego as the clueless, Aldolpho (this role steals the show every time I have seen it), and Meg Waldowski as the title character. She is a musical chameleon who adapts herself to whatever situation she finds herself in. Lisa Starke and Chris Seifert make an adorable couple that the audience desperately wants to see together, and Harriet Zeff joined by Andrew Kind-Rubin provide many laughs with wordplay and slapstick.

Technically Director Matt Reher has put together an excellent team. The choreography is clever and not outside the ability of the talent. Musically the orchestra and singers seemed very comfortable. Lighting, sound and set design created a great atmosphere for this fun-loving ensemble to dance and play.

If you want a delightful, light-hearted evening in a fun-filled atmosphere, then race to the Abington Junior High School Little Theater to see the Willow Manor Players rendition of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. It runs until November 22nd.

Music and Lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison
Book by Bob Martin and Dan Kellar
Directed by Matt Reher
November 14—22, 2014
Willow Manor Players
Abington Jr. High Little Theater
2056 Susquehanna Ave.
Abington, PA 19001

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