‘Get Ready To Laugh’
JHS To Perform ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’
The Jamestown High School is once again performing a musical, but this year’s performance of “The Drowsy Chaperone” will be much more comedic than its shows in years past.
“Get ready to laugh,” said Lauren Scharff, JHS musical director. “It’s so funny. I’ve seen the show, I staged the show and I’m still laughing. Our kids do such a great job of bringing character and life to these characters that you’re just going to have a great time. It’s a really funny show. The music’s really great, but it’s the comedy that you’re going to remember.”
‘The Drowsy Chaperone” is a musical comedy placed in the 1920s and is described by Scharff as “a musical within a musical.”
The musical opens today with additional showings on Friday and Saturday. The JHS production features 43 cast members, 20 students performing in the pit and seven crew members.
Opening with the Man in Chair, who serves as the narrator, he introduces himself to the audience as he plays a musical record for viewers as the plot comes to life inside of his apartment.
The performance takes viewers through the story of a bride and Broadway star, Janet Van De Graaff, who begins to have doubts about her impending marriage to an oil tycoon, Robert Martin. If the marriage goes through, Van De Graaff intends on ending her show-business career. Van De Graaff’s producer, Feldzieg receives threats from gangsters to stop the marriage to ensure his clients career continues. Van De Graaff confides in the Chaperone who then takes a nap while she is supposed to be watching over the Broadway star allowing her to wander off.
“There’s kind of all these mishaps and mayhem and crazy things that happen throughout the show,” Scharff said.
The musical director said this year’s show will be the most unique as it is lesser known and more comical. Scharff said the staging of the show alone makes the musical different than many other musicals.
“A lot of the scenery that’s utilized is actually from (the Man in Chair’s) apartment,” she said.
The set-up is referred to as a “box set” with many of the stage’s props remaining the same throughout the entirety of the show.
However, there are small pieces and props that are moved in and out of the set.
For Scharff, the musical, while it isn’t well known and serves as a departure of more serious musicals, remains as one of her favorites.
“It’s not a show done very often in the area so I wanted to bring a show that’s new and different,” Scharff said.
Another highlight is the cast of unique characters that “bring a different life to the show” as they appear on stage, Scharff said. Similarly, she praised the talent of this year’s cast that is comprised of 14 different leads.
One of those cast members is Corin Derby, a JHS senior, who is playing the Chaperone. This is Derby’s fourth musical performance at JHS and out of all of them this is by far her favorite. Admittedly, Derby said her favoritism to this musical is most likely bias because it is her last and she plays a lead role. Nevertheless, she believes the show is perfect for the this year’s cast.
“As soon as I watched it I was like, ‘this is perfect for the different people we have here’…and I just thought that everyone would have such a perfect part,” Derby said. “This musical is so special to me and I’m happy that (‘The Drowsy Chaperone’) is my last one.”
Although Derby is admittedly feeling “bitter-sweet” about the show being her final one at JHS, she’s nonetheless excited for the community to see her fellow cast members perform when the show opens on today.
On the other end of the high-school musical spectrum is Bradley Galeazzo, a JHS freshman, who is playing the lead of the Man in Chair. Galeazzo believes “The Drowsy Chaperone” will relate to the audience as his character dives into real-life emotions. Galeazzo is as enthusiastic about the upcoming show as his character, the Man in Chair, is while he plays it for the audience as the show comes to life inside the apartment set.
“In my opinion, the musical is a really good one,” Galeazzo said. “It has amazing music and it can be very relatable on some parts.”