“Drowsy Chaperone” delivers with humor

Fall Musical performance dazzles, entertains

Navjot Kaur

Park’s latest theatre production, “The Drowsy Chaperone” captivates audiences with engaging storytelling and an imaginative narrative . Penned by Bob Martin and Don McKeller in 1998, the musical is formatted as a play within a play in which the narrator tells the audience describes his favorite theatre production –  the Drowsy Chaperone.

The story opens with the narrator, played by junior Lukas Levin, joking about what some people think of about going to the play. The narrator repeatedly interjects during the play, telling the audience facts about the cast or his opinion. Levin put a spunky twist on his role which was amusing to see. Initially, the narrator’s interruptions annoyed me. But as the play went on, the interruptions were something I found myself looking forward to. Levin’s character used dark humor to comment on current events, which modernized the play.

The main character Janet Van De Graff, played by Lauren senior VonEschen, was a typical 1920’s showgirl who falls in love and decides to quit her career to get married. VonEschen’s amazing vocals and acting made for an uncanny imitation of 1920’s actresses.

Eben Manegbe, who played the role of the Drowsy Chaperone stole the show. Manegbe plays an alcoholic woman who has to ‘babysit’ the bride so she does not see her fiance before the wedding.  At first does not caring about the wedding, Manegbe’s character falls in love when she meets Aldolpho, played by Ethan Brown. Aldolpho is an imbecilic playboy, who is intent on ruining the wedding. I thought between the drowsy chaperone and Aldolpho’s exchanges were truly amazing and funny. The chemistry between the characters were charming and amusing. What truly stole the show was Manegbe’s singing. Her impressive vocal range received rounds of applause from the audience.   

The rest of the characters’ struggles provided a way to incorporate subplots in the storyline. Junior Ian McIntyre’s character, who does not want Janet to quit, brought conflict to the story line.

The idiotic show girl character Kitty, provides comic relief while instilling feelings of pity for her because of how badly she wants to be a showgirl. The growing romantic tension between the butler and maid, created a subplot and provided the audience with a second relationship to root for.

Despite the predictable ending, overall the musical had great songs, amazing acting, and a funny plot.


Hanna Schechter
Senior Lauren Von Eschen and other cast members practice for Park’s fall musical. The performance will be on 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Park’s auditorium.