While there are so many terrific moments that come to mind after seeing The Drowsy Chaperone on Friday night, including drop-dead gorgeous Camille Gaston singing in a truly drool-worthy silver sequined bomber jacket (just let that image sink in), the moment both my husband and I have mentioned several times this weekend involves a PowerBar.
At the moment two impossibly beautiful swooning lovers are facing one another, hands clasped, breathing deeply, The Man in Chair (Steve Souza), creeps right into the middle of them, enraptured by the moment, and nibbles on his PowerBar. It is a comic moment so deftly choreographed and timed as to feel totally spontaneous. Also, it is so convincingly acted by Souza as to leave no doubt as to his total immersion in the role – at least from the audience’s perspective.
Just one example of the terrific work by Souza and the entire ensemble in this charming production.
I’ve been pretty lucky this year that several of my personal faves are on the docket. This summer, StageWorks Fresno produced The Full Monty, which is among my favorite musicals because of the thoughtful way with which it treats the subject of male insecurity and the search for real connection. (I never claimed to have much taste in musicals, but I do love a thoughtfully rendered theme.)
But my very favorite musical, in all honesty, is The Drowsy Chaperone, which is in its second incarnation at Good Company Players at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. I think what I love about The Drowsy Chaperone is the way that is shiny silliness and glossy vintage-tasticness dresses up a very poignant message. Underneath the wacky characters and the quick wit exists a deep love of the theater and the way that people use being a fan of something to help them through the mundane, and often disappointing, world. “As we stumble along,” indeed.
This year’s production from GCP features an all-star cast, smart direction, and a loving and truly captivating performance from Steve Souza as The Man in Chair, who guides the audience through his favorite 1920’s musical. It’s a play within a play full of theater jokes, commentary on love (and a wink or two of sex), and insight about what it is like to be a real FAN of something. Warts and all. It’s zippy, cleverly written, and never cloying in the performance.
Also, an evening at Roger Rocka’s is just a terrific experience, especially for a Friday night after a long week or a Sunday evening when you want something a little different. Call their box office to see if they have any Buy One Get One specials coming up (they’ve been running a few for Sunday evenings).
If you decide to go, drop me a line and tell me what you thought.
All the best,
Good Company Players at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater
The Drowsy Chaperone. NOW – November 12
Box Office: 559-266-9494