By Jack Wilson
Bishop’s University Drama and Music Department is gearing up to stage The Drowsy Chaperone between May 29 and June 10 at the Turner Studio. The performance of a “musical within a comedy” will be “very funny” and “completely ridiculous,” said director Art Babayants.
The Drowsy Chaperone, a Canadian musical, began as a wedding present, eventually opening on Broadway and winning five Tony awards. This production will be the Eastern Township’s first, said Babayants, who also directs Bishop’s musical theatre concentration. About half of the cast are enrolled in the program, he said.
The show revolves around a fictional 1920s musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, which a narrator presents to the audience on a record player. The narrator stands in for the audience and “voices our thoughts, our fears, our paradoxes, inconsistencies, idiosyncrasies,” Babayants said. “The comedy is both in the ridiculousness of the musical and then also in his comments.”
Laura Fernandez will play that narrator, called the “man in chair,” in alternating shows. “It’s a very deep character,” she said, who is “also very fun and bubbly.” The fictional musical is the narrator’s favourite, though the character also offers critiques throughout the performance. When not playing the “man in chair,” Fernandez will join the ensemble.