NORMAN — Stereotypically cliché characters, over the top production numbers and a paper-thin plot that predictably ends all wrapped together in a neat ribbon. A cynic might describe the Tony Award-winning musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” as such, but the irony of it all is that the production is intended to be just that. The University of Oklahoma musical theater’s take on the show left no note unbelted, no cliché left out and no talent wasted.
Under the direction of Lyn Cramer, the fast-paced show within a show opened 8 p.m. Friday in the Rupel J. Jones Theatre, and undoubtedly displayed its ability to be brilliantly funny yet excessively eccentric.
The musical is about a lonely musical theater lover, plainly known as Man in Chair, who guides the audience through his favorite number, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” as it comes to life in his apartment. Man in Chair is played by junior Andrew Gallop, whose snarky commentary and dialogue won a majority of the audience’s laughter.
The musical within the comedy is centered around Broadway sensation Janet Van De Graaff, played by sophomore Sarah Quinn, who is giving up her theater career to marry oil tycoon, Robert Martin, played by junior Aaron Boudreaux. The pair’s abrupt love for one another has brought them to their wedding day, where the array of random characters have gathered to celebrate.
The wedding day is filled with uproarious mayhem as Van De Graaff’s producer Victor Feldzieg, played by junior Basit Shittu, desperately attempts to sabotage the wedding in order for Van De Graaff to continue with her Broadway career. Adding to the mayhem is the constantly tipsy chaperone, played by junior Kassiani Menas, whose habit for the bottle inhibits her from fulfilling her sole responsibility of keeping the bride from the groom before the wedding.
The cast also includes a busy body best man George, played by senior Brett Uram, a pair of pun-slinging pastry chef gangsters, played by sophomores Jordan Barron and Kai Daly, a self-proclaimed Latin lover known as Adolpho, played by senior Jacob Chancellor and the incomprehensible ditz gunning for Van De Graaff’s career known as Kitty, played by senior Alexis Bruza.
The denseness of the plot and lyrics hardly register with each performance and scene packed with talent, fervor and cleverly understated dialogue. As the glitz and glam of the ‘20s is highly played upon, the costumes and scenery were no exception.
The tap-dancing routine performed by Boudreaux and Uram deserves major props for their synchronization and hilariously surprising skills. “As We Stumble Along” was boldly and deftly belted by Menas as well as the extravagant number “Bride’s Lament,” performed by Quinn and backed by the entire cast.
The lavish song and dance numbers are backed by the students’ impressive talent to deliver them to their fullest. The production is radiantly cast and choreographed by Cramer, making “The Drowsy Chaperone” an enthusiastic and entertaining package.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” will continue 8 p.m. today and Feb. 20-22 and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to the musical are $30 for adults, $25 for senior adults and $15 for students. To purchase tickets call or visit the OU Fine Arts Box Office at 405-325-4101, located at 500 W. Boyd St. in the Catlett Music Center.
Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.