Friday, June 28, 2013

An Evening At The Theatre

Tonight I had the overall pleasure of seeing Kernersville Little Theatre's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone." This musical is a huge undertaking for any theatre, let alone a community theatre. I was worried when I first heard the show was going to be part of their season.

Fortunately, under the direction of Stan Bernstein, Maggie Gallagher as music director and choreographer Benji Starcher, the show was very impressive. Katrina Meeks and Amanda Coltrane put together the best costumes I've even seen in a KLT production.

Chad Edwards played the pivotal role of "Man In Chair." Save a few flubbed lines, he was spot on. Chad was honest and hysterical. I could barely contain my laughter during a particular tirade.

Katie Jo Icenhower was perfect as the Drowsy Chaperone. She also played a spot on monkey. Scott Icenhower was quietly funny as the Underling. David Bowen and Jack Holbrook as Gangster 1 and 2, respectively, were fittingly cast.

John C. Wilson was adorable as George. I loved his tap dance number and giggled myself silly for a full minute when he handed the groom a pair of skates. (John was originally cast in Theatre Alliance's production of Xanadu but had to drop out when he broke his ankle during a roller skating rehearsal.)

Ken Ashford was solid as Feldzig, the put upon producer and his rendition of a monkey was second to Katie Jo's portrayal. Cameron Williams was charmingly smarmy as Aldolpho, the Latin lover.

Photo courtesy of Gray Cassell
There was only one character I had a difficult time liking and that was Mary Lea Williams' Janet Van DeGraffe. There is no dispute that Mary Lea is a very talented singer. Unfortunately, for me, there was nothing genuine about her portrayal of Janet. I understand the show is "a comedy in a musical" and a "show within a show", but I felt Mary Lea overacted even the caricature of her role. One of my favorite numbers "Accident Waiting To Happen" lacked honesty.

Still, despite some extremely distracting mic problems, the show was affably successful. If it weren't for the talented casting by Stan, Maggie and Benji the show might have been a disaster.

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