DHS comedy a tribute to jazz musicals

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:56 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 5:50 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – DeKalb High School presents a comedy filled with every cliche, gag and gimmick from the golden age of musicals in its 2013 spring musical, “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is an homage to the American musical of the Jazz Age. The show revolves around one man’s adoration of a fictional musical comedy from 1928. The Man in Chair is a mousy, agoraphobic Broadway fanatic who is seeking a cure to his “non-specific sadness.” As he listens to his rare recording, he is transported into the musical.

The plot of the show-within-a-show centers around Janet Vandegraff, a glamorous showgirl who has decided to leave the spotlight behind for love. The story is set during the week of her wedding and examines Janet’s decision to give up her career for her oil-tycoon fiance and her manager’s devastation at her leaving the show. Watching from his armchair, The Man in Chair is torn between his desire to absorb every moment of the show as it unfolds and his need to insert his personal footnotes – extensive but trivial knowledge of the musical and its performers. The plot incorporates mistaken identities, dream sequences, spit takes, a deus ex machina, an unflappable English butler, quick-witted gangsters disguised as pastry chefs, an absent-minded dowager, a ditzy chorine, a bumbling Latin Lothario, an aviatrix, a harried best man and Janet’s “drowsy” (i.e. “tipsy”) chaperone.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 11-13 and at 2 p.m. April 14 in the DeKalb High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, students and children. Students at DeKalb High School and Clinton Rosette or Huntley middle schools are admitted free with a student ID.

The cast includes DHS students Danny Lamansky, Allison Duffin, Tom Hagaman, Matt Petersen, Evan Taylor, Jake Mass, Lauren Cliffe, Matt Callahan, Jesse Heinsohn, Avery Maxwell, Lauren Zelaya, Nelle Conley, Olivia Johnson-Smith and Dennes Spyratos. Other performers include Sean Connors, Jon Doty, Will Ferguson, Rory Gallagher, Gabe Ihm, Augi Jesmer, Zhouri Ni, Dylan Schweitzer, Isabella Anderson, Laurel Becker, Jaime Briner, Amy Clark, Melissa Deball, Sarah Duffin, Hannah Hart, Sarah Jesmer, Kristin Johnson, Jaycee Mattis, Paulina Morales, Rachel Petersen, Andrea Ruiz, Kit Sawyer, Veronica Sherman and Tasia Spyratos.

The production is led by music director Travis Erikson, stage director Michael Apperson, assistant director Daniel’e Apperson, choreographer Ashlie Andersen, technical director Joseph Andersen and costume director Donna Schultz-Xidis.

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