The theater department’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone, an adaptation of a Broadway comedy, is slated to premiere Thursday in the MVHS theater. Set in the Roaring Twenties, this year’s spring musical depicts the day of the wedding between glamorous Broadway star Janet Van de Graaff and oil magnate Robert Martin.
Senior Grace Wilken, who plays the titular character of the drowsy chaperone, describes the performance as a “musical within a musical.” The musical “comes alive” in his living room, with curtains opening to the Man in Chair. He sits off to the side of the stage, lamenting his sadness and turning on a record player. Invisible to the other characters, Man in Chair provides wry commentary on the subsequent wedding-day mishaps, breaking the fourth-wall, throughout the play.
“The musical makes fun of itself in a way,” senior Kyran Buggy said, who plays Martin. “There is someone on the outside with the audience who is commenting on this ridiculous looking musical.”
Senior Kyran Buggy said that, at one point, his character Robert Martin skates across the stage, blindfolded and singing, during the performance.
“My character has a bunch of quirks. There’s some tap dancing, some spit takes,” Buggy said. “Learning how to do those things on stage has definitely been a challenge.”
Senior Peyton White, who plays bride Janet Van de Graaff, said her character’s serious personality was difficult to emulate at first.
“Janet’s character isn’t too complex: she’s just truly dramatic,” White said. “I’m personally more easy going, so trying to build other aspects of her character has helped me.”
As the drowsy chaperone, Wilken’s character intends to keep the bride from seeing the groom before the wedding, but her habitual intoxication presents some complications.
“My favorite part has been watching other people’s acting,” Buggy said. “They never cease to crack me up.”
The musical is a collaboration between all performing art departments; choir, acting, dance, instrumental music, tech crew, and stagecraft. Students have been preparing since January, learning the songs from choir teacher Jill Denny, the dance routines from dance teacher Lauren Kato, and their character’s movements from acting teacher Emilia Peña-Thornber.
Students wrapped up rehearsal in the frenzied final days before the premiere.
“This week is definitely the most hectic, but it’s incredibly satisfying and rewarding to see it come together,” Wilken said.
Students finish rehearsals this week, with shows scheduled Mar. 15, 16, and 17 at 7 p.m. in the MVHS theater. Tickets are $2 for infants, $5 for seniors and students, and $10 for adults.