The Joyous Living: The Drowsy Chaperone Theatre Review

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Do you love musicals?

Do you love a good humored farce?

Do you appreciate talent?

Do you love to laugh?

Then DROWSY CHAPERONE is definitely a MUST-SEE during its run at The Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center starring a slew of local favorites including Dawn Michelle (“Is He Dead?” 2018-2019 Best Supporting Actress in a Play) as The Bride, Vincent Perez (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder“) and George Chavez (“The Addams Family“).

Synopsis:

Without giving too much away, the story involves A Man in the Chair (Kevin Ellis) who is a BIG Broadway fan. When he puts on his favorite (fictional) musical album, The Drowsy Chaperone, from 1928, suddenly the show comes to life in his living room.


The musical within the comedy centers around a Broadway star (Dawn Michelle) and Oil Tycoon (Vincent Perez) who’ve come to celebrate their nuptials with aging and confused hostess Mrs. Tottendale (Denise Jaffe, AEA), butler Underling (Mueen Jahan), best man George (Kyle Cooknick), producer Feldzieg (Will Shupe), ditzy flapper Kitty (Mary Zastrow), self-proclaimed Latin lover Adolpho (George Chavez), the Chaperone (MarLee Candell) and a pair of gangsters posing as chefs (Scott Gilbert, Joey Grady).

The Joyous Living: Hilarity Ensues at The Drowsy Chaperone

Hilarity ensues as would be expected from a musical that parodies 1920s musical comedies and theatre in general.

The Amazing Cast:

The cast is Aces! After the fantastic production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder that starred leading man Vincent Perez, I was not sure how Producer Jan Glasband and Actors’ Repertory Theatre of Simi could outdo themselves. And yet they did an incredible job!

Top props goes to Kevin Ellis who was so convincing in his role as “Man in Chair” that not for one second did it seem like he was reciting lines but that he was successfully breaking the fourth wall and having a conversation with we, the audience. As my dad said, “you never felt like you were watching Ellis act.”

The Joyous Living: The Drowsy Chaperone Cast is Aces

Musically, I was in awe of the amazing work Dawn Michelle and MarLee Candell did with Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison‘s tricky vocal work. Their versions of “As We Stumble Along” and “Bride’s Lament” were just as good as original stars, Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel and Sutton Foster.

The Joyous Living: Dawn Michelle Drowsy Chaperone

After seeing how amazing Vincent Perez was in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder I was truly impressed to see his tap dancing skills showcased during “Cold Feet”. Is there anything this guy can NOT do?

The Joyous Living: George Chavez Steals the Scene in The Drowsy Chaperone

Lastly, a big congratulations to George Chavez who previously wowed as Gomez Addams in The Addams FamilyHe threatened to steal the show whenever he was on stage. His “Aldolpho” and “A Message from a Nightingale” were moments of sheer comedic delight.

Again I have to acknowledge the ENTIRE cast who did such a fabulous job as a whole!


Need any other reasons why you should come on down to Simi Valley to catch this zany and beautiful cast? How about –

  • A live orchestra as Conducted by Cavit Celayir-Monezis
  • Great lighting design by Seth Kamenow
  • Countless reasons to laugh non stop

I could go on and on about this amazing show but I do not want to ruin many of the magical surprises for you. Take my word and get your tickets today because this is a production you won’t want to miss!!

Location: Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center
Prices: $20-28
Dates: Now – 1 September 2019
Tickets: Available Online or at the Box Office
Parking: free parking available in the lot + on the streets nearby
The Joyous Living Rating: A+

Parental Guide: 10+. There is nothing terribly offensive.

Accessibility: Please note that to access the balcony you must be able to climb a full set of stairs. For seats in the main floor you will need to manage a step for Rows G and higher. Main floor seating is wheelchair accessible via a ramp from street level on the East side of the front entrance. A street level ramp makes the box office and main floor seating wheelchair accessible. There is an accessible restroom located on the theater level.

Disclaimer: I had my ticket comped for review purposes but all opinions are my own.