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'The Drowsy Chaperone:' An evening of madcap delight

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Mercyhurst Theatre Program, under the directorship of Dr. Brett D. Johnson, continues its 2015-2016 season with a production of the Tony Award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone.

With the houselights down, a man in a chair appears on stage and puts on his favorite record: the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical. The recording comes to life and The Drowsy Chaperone begins. Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight.

Johnson says the show is “an exercise in escapism. The experience is all about backstage gossip, breezy show tunes, tap numbers, comedy routines, bad jokes, brightly costumed characters, and finding refuge from the bad old world in a good old musical. It’s about how art can transform your sense of the universe.”

Audiences can expect to be dazzled by the show’s technical elements. “This is our most ambitious production, to date,” Johnson notes. “We have 20 students in the cast and seven backstage, 14 musicians in the pit, more than a hundred costume pieces, and a large set with visual surprises throughout.”

The Drowsy Chaperone features Michael Rowe (Man in Chair), Bethany Sulecki (Mrs. Tottendale), Vince Marrazzo (Underling), Aidan Giles (Robert Martin), Matt Marucci (George), Maxton Honeychurch (Feldzieg), Jennie Cross (Kitty), Cole Prots (Gangster #1), Owen Hitt (Gangster #2), Luke Ballantyne (Aldolpho), Sarah Creighton (Janet Van De Graaff), Sarah Krempasky (The Drowsy Chaperone), Abby Larimore (Trix), Erin Fink (Ensemble), Tonya Lenhart (Ensemble), Charity Ludwig (Ensemble), Leah Miori (Ensemble), Ashley Poletto (Ensemble), Rosie Pregler (Ensemble) and Brianna Carle (Superintendent).

The creative team includes set designer Aaron White, lighting designer Madeleine Steineck, musical director Andrew Rainbow, choreographer Kelly Jean Graham, production stage manager Kathryn Schmitt, and assistant stage manager Brianna Carle.

Performances are Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 22-24, at 8 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday, Oct. 24-25, at 2 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre on the Mercyhurst campus.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for senior citizens/students, and $5 for youths and Mercyhurst students with ID. All performances are general admission, with doors opening 30 minutes prior to curtain.

Reserve your tickets today by calling 814-824-3000 or by visiting the box office in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Tickets will also be on sale at the theatre beginning one hour before curtain (cash sales only).

For more information, contact Dr. Brett D. Johnson at or 814-824-2663.