Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gilbert on Stage

Last night, Krishana and I went to the Buell Theater in Denver to see "The Drowsy Chaperone." I had heard it was a cute, funny little musical, but apart from that I didn't know much about it. Imagine my surprise and delight to discover that Jonathan Crombie, the actor who played Gilbert Blythe in "Anne of Green Gables," was playing the lead role of Man in Chair.

From The Boston Globe:
Beautiful girls, tap-dancing guys, lavish production numbers, and a whole LP's worth of silly songs - "The Drowsy Chaperone" has everything you could ask for in a vintage 1928 musical, except that it doesn't exist.

Well, of course, there is a show called "The Drowsy Chaperone," which opened in a sprightly touring production last night at the Opera House. But the real "Drowsy Chaperone" - the one that doesn't exist - is an absurd bit of fluff that is, literally, too ridiculous to be true. On tour as on Broadway, where it won five Tony Awards, it exists only in the mind of a character identified simply as Man in Chair.

One of my favorite moments was the show stopping number "Show Off" sung by the main character—a stage actress who is giving up her career to marry the man she loves. As she sings about how she doesn't want to show off anymore, she does a series of attention-getting tricks.
I don't wanna wear this no more.
Play the saucy swiss miss no more.
Blow my signature *kiss* no more.
I don't wanna show off.

Though a great departure from Gil, Jonathan did a spectacular job as Man in Chair. His role was very comedic. At one point he started unwrapping a cereal bar on stage. "What?" he asked. "I have blood sugar issues. I know it's rude to eat this in front of you. But, believe me, you wouldn't like the alternative."

Like many modern musicals, "Chaperone" makes fun of musicals, which endears it both to musical theater fanatics and haters. An example of this is when the wedding is broken off, and yet all the characters get swept into a big song and dance number. Suddenly, the leading lady asks: "Why are we singing and dancing? This is the worst day of my life!"

In the final number, when Man in Chair finally experiences some happiness, I saw Gilbert in Jonathan Crombie's smiling face. Just another reason why I love live theater. "The Drowsy Chaperone" plays through October 26 at the Buell.


At 2:21 PM, OpenID dancebythelight said...

How Fun!


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