Waterfront Playhouse Flying High (Konk Life)

Waterfront Playhouse Flying High (Konk Life)

Posted Thu, Mar 14, 2013 in Reviews

Review of “The Drowsy Chaperone”

By Diane Johnson

Waterfront Playhouse’s “ The Drowsy Chaperone” is a delightfully funny musical comedy not to be missed, serving up tasty portions of singing, dancing and a barrel full of belly laughs. Watching this show is like savoring every spoonful of a giant ice cream sundae!

The production takes us back to the 1920’s when gangsters roamed the streets, vodka was “ice water” and tap dancing was all the rage.

A story within a story, the performance comes to life as the old man sitting in his chair lovingly plays the record from his favorite musical.  As the music starts, the actors come alive in his apartment and emerge right out of his refrigerator!

The talented Danny Weathers is the Artistic director and plays the role of the Man in the Chair. Kristen Michelle, portrays Janet Van de Graaff and sings, dances and performs acrobatics in heels! Andrew Hodge and Jeff Harwell make their debut with the Waterfront in this hilarious production. Andrew (plays Robert) is an Equity actor from New York City and an accomplished tap dancer and singer who has recently emerged as a leading man. Jeff is a Key West local whose stiff upper lip and non-blinking stare prevailed despite the thorough soaking he received when serving vodka as “ice water”.

David Black’s portrayal of Adolfo was immensely entertaining as the stereotypical Latin lover. Laurie Breakwell’s performance as the Drowsy Chaperone was whimsical and side splitting good fun! Rhett Kalman and J.B. McLendon are the gangsters turned pastry chefs, while Feldzieg and Kitty played by Michael Pollansch and Kyla Piscopink deliver zany portrayals of the businessman and the want-a-be starlet. Marjorie Paul Shook is the happy go lucky Mrs. Tottendale, and Bruce Moore sings and dances his way through the show as the Best Man. Although Vicki Roush has a small part as the Aviatrix, her beautiful voice takes over the stage.

Most impressive about this show was the energy generated by a production of this magnitude on a relatively small stage. Those physical limits are barely noticeable thanks to choreographer Penny Leto, combined with set designer Michael Boyer and stage manager Trish Manley. The four-piece orchestra, directed by Michael Fauss, does a fantastic job in a tiny space, sounding like a full size orchestra perfectly tuned for each of the 15 numbers they delivered.

Leigh Hooten and Ruth Cahoon supervised the costumes provided by Maine State Music Theatre. Their authenticity to the times and bright colors gave added life to the characters. The breakaway outfits worn by Kristen Michelle performed beautifully as she stripped down her multiple layers to the delight of the audience.

Leave with a smile on your face. This production is a real gem!

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