It was almost a year and a half ago when I saw The Drowsy Chaperone for the first time. It was playing in Toronto at that point in time, and I was fortunate enough to see some of the original cast members from the Broadway cast. I knew I was going to love it; I already had the soundtrack and listened to it constantly… but listening to a good soundtrack is never as thoroughly awesome as actually seeing a brilliant musical live.
So, when I heard that The Drowsy Chaperone tour was going to make a stop at The Centre in the Square, there was absolutely no question as to whether I would see it again. I dragged a friend with me – she had never heard any of the music, and didn’t know the story, but she was willing enough to see it on my insistence that she would love it. (Thankfully, I was so right!)
And it was just as good as I remember it being! So funny, the dancing was so flail-y, the music was so much brilliantly fun! Part of the time I spent comparing it to the Toronto one, but most of the time I was completely swept away.
Our seats were good – we were 3/4 of the way back from the stage, but there wasn’t anyone in the seats directly in front of us, so we could see really well. And hear really well – there was the possibility that I could have seen this at the JLC in London, but I’m happy I didn’t it. It’s so much better to see a play at an actual theatre compared to an arena that has been converted for the evening. Better acoustics, more comfortable seating, etc.
The cast was really good too. Leigh Wakeford played Robert Martin, a character I was convinced I didn’t like; but after Wakeford’s performance, he may be one of my favourite characters. The guy who played Man in Chair (don’t remember who it was – someone different than was in the program, they announced it, but it wasn’t one of the understudies listed) was brilliant. I almost liked him more than Bob Martin, the man who portrayed the role originally. The only character I was disappointed with was Mrs. Tottendale. I fell in love with the character on the soundtrack, and then seeing Georgia Engel in the role in Toronto… well, I kept comparing the two actresses, and this one wasn’t nearly as wonderful.
Overall, it was a brilliant evening! I really would recommend seeing it at least once to everyone – especially for those who already have and love the soundtrack. It just doesn’t even compare to how funny the musical really is!