The Tony® Award winning ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ will be presented at the new $20,000,000 state-of-the-art Arcadia Performing Arts Center on the campus of Arcadia High School opening Thursday, March 21. With book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison the delightful musical is directed by Steven Volpe. Stephen Pu is musical director and Jeremy Thompson is choreographer. The show is presented by the Theatre Arts Department of Arcadia High School.
The Arcadia Performing Arts Center is a facility with 1,200 seats situated on the campus of Arcadia High School. It is the realization of a dream several decades in the making, that Arcadia should have and enjoy a first-rate performing arts facility. It is the one of the largest such facilities situated on a secondary school campus in the Southland. It includes over two dozen accessible seats for the “differently-abled.”
A reclusive fellow sitting on a chair in his apartment selects a treasured 1928 musical comedy record from his collection and, when it plays on his turntable, the action of his favorite show “The Drowsy Chaperone” magically appears on stage for the audience to see. Beautiful Broadway star Janet is about to retire from the theatre to marry her true love, wealthy oil tycoon Robert. But her producer and some of his investors (gangsters from The Mob) want to break up the planned wedding in a bid to get Janet to return to the stage. The producer, Feldzieg, sends a seducer, Adolpho, to attempt to woo Janet. He mistakenly tries to tempt her chaperone instead (The Drowsy, actually tipsy, Chaperone of the title). Janet, testing Robert, pretends to be a French girl, Mimi, and gets him to kiss “Mimi” while he is blindfolded. This alienates her.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” is a spoof of classic Broadway musicals and, in keeping with the spirit of the piece, many of the show’s numerous characters will be pairing up and planning to marry, in case you doubt that there would be a happy ending.
The production is cast with students from the Theatre Arts Department of Arcadia High School, including (in alphabetical order) Alana DeBlase, Janessa Floyd, Keith Harmel, Kristine Price, David Liu, Anthony Nappier, Cassie Nichols and Liam Swan.
Volpe is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton; he has been producer and technical director for fifteen productions at Arcadia High. Also an actor, he has performed in plays and musicals throughout Southern California as well as on episodic television series.
Arcadia Performing Arts Center has partnered with several area businesses in presenting this production, including Rose Hills, as well as the Huntington Ave. restaurants Denny’s (where tickets can be conveniently purchased) and the Derby.
“The Drowsey Chaperone” opens 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21 and performs 7 p.m. Friday, march 22 and 4 p.m. Saturday, March 23. Admission is $15, $10 students and seniors, VIP (includes priority seating and no waiting in general admission line). Call 626-836-9100 or visit www.arcadiastage.com.
Arcadia Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Arcadia high School is located at 180 Campus Drive in Arcadia.