Last night, the stage of Ascham’s Packer Theatre was a riot of song, story and tap dancing for the Senior School musical The Drowsy Chaperone opening night. And what a night it was!
After rehearsing hard over the summer holidays and right across Term 1, our cast, crew and orchestra finally made it to the finish line to present this wonderfully funny and entertaining musical to our community. Students from local boys’ schools Sydney Grammar and Cranbrook joined Ascham girls in the cast and backstage crew for this loving send-up of the ‘Jazz Age’ musical, with one show-stopping song and dance number after another. Anyone who has ever seen an Ascham production will know how high the production values are across every aspect of every performance.
Described as ‘a musical within a comedy’, when The Drowsy Chaperone was produced on Broadway it won five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score.
Ascham’s Head of Drama Lynda O’Brien, who has directed this production, tells us that the production invites us to re-enter a golden era of musical theatre, set in 1928, just when productions began to be built around a story, however featherweight that sunny narrative might be.
Lynda said, ‘Drowsy launches us into a quixotic world of stock characters—the rich Widow hosting the wedding of a handsome Groom and his Broadway ingénue Bride, aided by her implacable Butler, the Bride’s furious Producer and his Chorine companion, the groom’s harried Best Man, a glorious Aviatrix who fortuitously drops by, and finally the plot-bending Chaperone whose inclination for both a Latin Lothario and for napping sets the plot in motion. This musical allows us to truly consider why we are so enamoured of this art form: this staged world where the act of bursting into song is natural. The fact is, we are entertained. Is it for the degree of escapism it affords us?’
Food for thought indeed! We wish our cast, crew and orchestra a truly wonderful run of four more performances over the weekend.
Image: The cast of The Drowsy Chaperone takes full flight at Ascham School