‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ pokes fun at theater tropes

The titular character from "The Drowsy Chaperone" takes the stage at the Jerry Herman Ring Theater. "The Drowsy Chaperone" is a satirical take on the Golden Age of Broadway musical comedies. Victoria McKaba // Photo Editor
The titular character from “The Drowsy Chaperone” takes the stage at the Jerry Herman Ring Theater. “The Drowsy Chaperone” is a satirical take on the Golden Age of Broadway musical comedies. Victoria McKaba // Photo Editor

After the Ring Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening” in February, some audience members had to wipe away more than a few tears. With the end of the semester approaching and all the stress that comes with it, Canes might be looking for something a little lighter. With the final show of the Ring season, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” opening Thursday, there’s more likely to be tears of laughter at this fast-paced comedy-within-a-comedy.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is a 2006 Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. The show is a meta-theatrical send-up of the Golden Age of Broadway musical comedies. The audience meets a character known only as Man in Chair who narrates as he listens to a recording of one of his favorite musicals, the fictional 1928 classic “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Romance, mistaken identities, hijinks and non-stop jokes about musical theater tropes ensue.

The cast rehearsed 7 to 11 p.m. each night in addition to six hours on Saturdays. They began by learning the music and then worked on the staging and choreography of the show with director Christine Kellogg.

“We moved through the actual staging of things very quickly,” said sophomore musical theater major Jacob Garwood, who plays Gangster #2. “It gave us a lot of time to do full runs of the show.”

“My character has a five-minute tap number which has been very challenging to learn,” said senior musical theater major Thomas Jansen, who plays bridegroom Robert Martin. “But it was very rewarding once I got it down, and I’m excited to show it to a live audience.”

Despite the rigorous rehearsal schedule, the cast has managed to keep smiling both onstage and off.

“It’s been a blast,” Jansen said. “We have been having so much fun and pretty much laughing the whole time at each other’s jokes.”

“My favorite part has been working with this amazing cast,” added junior musical theater major Lily Steven, who is a member of the ensemble. “Everyone has their own style and sense of humor, so everyone adds their own special touch to the material.”

With opening just hours away, the cast of “The Drowsy Chaperone” is ready to share its hard work with an audience, especially UM students.

“In the stress of college life and upcoming finals, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ is 90 minutes of pure joy and escape,” Steven said.

“Trust me, you’re really going to like this one,” Jansen said. “Even if you don’t like musicals, this is a musical that makes fun of everything musical theatre is!”

If you go:

WHAT: “The Drowsy Chaperone”

WHERE: The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Dr., Coral Gables

WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 13-22

COST: $25 regular admission, $10 student tickets and free with Cane Card on Totally Tuesday

CONTACT: For more information, call 305-284-3355 or visit www.as.miami.edu/ringtheatre/.