THE DROWSY CHAPERONE – Now at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre

A Jazz Age musical for the debonair

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, a “musical within a comedy”, plays the Orpheum Theatre beginning tonight and through Sunday, August 17th. The five-time Tony Award-winning production is presented as a part of the 2007-2008 Citibank Best of Broadway season under the direction of Carole Shorenstein Hays. Click here to purchase tickets on-line: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE.

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THE DROWSY CHAPERONE – National Touring Company. Production photos, Joan Marcus.

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE tells the story of a modern day musical theater addict known simply as “Man in Chair”. To chase his blues away he drops the needle on his favorite LP – the 1928 musical comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone”. From the crackle of his hi-fi, the musical magically bursts to life on-stage telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters who double as pastry chefs.

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THE DROWSY CHAPERONE – At the Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco.

The recipient of thirteen major awards, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE received more Tony Awards than any other musical of the 2006 season, including Best Book (Bob Martin and Don McKellar), Original Score (Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison), Costume Design (Gregg Barnes) and Scenic Design (David Gallo).

Casting for the North American tour will feature film and television star, Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”) who reprises her Broadway role of Mrs. Tottendale for the tour. Canadian actor Jonathan Crombie, who is widely known for playing Gilbert Blythe in the popular “Anne of Green Gables” movies, plays the musical-loving Man in Chair.

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JONATHAN CROMBIE and NANCY OPEL – GEORGIA ENGEL – as Mrs. Tottendale

Joining them are Cliff Bemis (Feldzieg), Andrea Chamberlain (Janet Van De Graaff), Robert Dorfman (Underling), Fran Jaye (Trix), Mark Ledbetter (Robert Martin), Marla Mindelle (Kitty), James Moye (Aldolpho), Nancy Opel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Paul Riopelle (Gangster #1), Peter Riopelle (Gangster #2), and Richard Vida (George). Rounding out the cast are Megan Nicole Arnoldy, Kevin Crewell, Tiffany Haas, Alicia Irving, Jody Madaras, Chuck Rea, Mason Roberts and Jennifer Swiderski.

The creative team for THE DROWSY CHAPERONE features scenic design by Tony Award winner David Gallo, costume design by Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington (Chicago) and Brian Monahan, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, orchestrations by Tony Award nominee Larry Blank, dance and incidental music arrangements by Glen Kelly, and music director/vocal arrangements by Phil Reno.

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To order tickets on-line: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE
To order the Original Cast CD: ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST, 2006
To order songs from the Original Score: THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, Vocal Selections

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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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