I know I’m just posting all over the place today.
First weekend of summer break (juries and call-backs notwithstanding).
Last night I attended opening night of Regent University’s production of the Drowsy Chaperone.
Not to be confused with the sequel, “The Drowsy Chaper Two.”
Bad joke I know, but it was funnier in person… You had to be there.
Let me start by saying I think this production was the best thing Regent has done in the three years I’ve been here.
And it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
Now I have friends in this show… Several, in fact.
I want to stress that my opinion of this show isn’t altered by that fact. If anything, it might make me harder on it.
Don’t forget…I see these actors’ class work… So… Without Further Ado – The Review:
I wouldn’t be much of an actor or acting student if I didn’t first comment on the acting. My thought going into the show was my typical thought of a musical… Happy music, quick dance moves, simple acting. I was surprised. Happily surprised.
Brad Cain’s performance as The Man in Chair is second to no performance I may have ever seen in a live theatre setting. He possess an uncanny ability to draw the audience into a warm, loving embrace before choking them out with the raw gravitas of truth. One moment, you’re laughing at, “Love is always lovely in the end.” The next moment, you’re cringing as he exposes the naivety of the piece effectively punching the air right out of the room. Brain is a good friend of mine. At the beginning, the character reflected Brad closely, but as the show went on I began to see the amount of homework and character development he’d done. His performance alone is worth the cost of admission (which to be fair was discounted because I’m a Com student, but it was worth the full price also). I may go see it again. Haven’t done that since Doubt.
I know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that went into this show… and I’m happy to say that none of it was in vain.
Of the remainder of the cast, all I can say is there wasn’t a weak link to be found. Every single performer in the show from Man in Chair down to the ensemble worked their butts off to produce a marvelous show.
Everyone was wonderful. However, there were a few moments where I felt something was lacking. The solos were great. Everyone could clearly sing and well. Articulation and execution were great. There was just something missing in the chorus. An extra umph. I don’t know. I only have a couple years of voice lessons to go on. I’m not really a musical theatre person so… I don’t know. Stephanie Bishop, Isaac Gay, Emily Hogenmiller, Shaunte Tabb, Austin Fitzhugh, etc. Fantastic voices. Go see the show. Hear for yourself. Write a better review of the singing than I can.
Okay. The tap dancing. Oh, the tap dancing. So much tap dancing. Rakeem Lawrence and Isaac Gay… Impressive. Their performance of, “Cold Feet” was just plain awesome-sauce. I could tell C.J. Hill had put in a considerable amount of work on the choreography. However, I wish the execution was a little better. Not a lot better. It didn’t take me out of the moment, but there were a few moments where I could tell some dancers had a better handle on their choreography than others. This isn’t a musical theatre program, however, and most of the people here who are good at dancing don’t like to dance… Hey, I don’t judge. Hash tag: I’m just sayin’. Again, the tap dancing with Rakeem and Isaac was excellent. Even more impressive was the fact that Rakeem’s show became untied half-way through the piece and didn’t trip him up. I was in awe.
The set was fantastic. From the beginning, I believed the NYC apartment setting. The brick walls and musical posters. The tiny kitchen complete with refrigerator. I took notice almost immediately of two sections of wall, which I assumed rotated. I was quite correct. These facilitated set changes and character entrances/exits. The microphones. however, were way too loud. This is an easy fix, which I’m certain they’ll get around to. Stage Manager, Joshua Scott, should be quite proud. He did a remarkable job calling the show. Even the tiniest record scratch sounds were perfect. I do recall one early cue, but that happens.
If I were to give this show a review based on a five star system… I would give it 4.5/5 Stars.
If I was so crazy about, “Why not 5 Stars?” Simply because it wasn’t perfect. Nor would I expect it to be.
This is, at its heart, educational theatre. I wasn’t expecting a Broadway performance…
Even thought I think it was as close as you could ask for.
I beg you. I implore you. Go see this show. My friends, these actors, the director, the designers, etc. have worked way too hard for this show to NOT be seen. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell the guy at Starbucks.
FINAL CONCLUSION: GO SEE THIS SHOW.
– scritch out