Crystal Lake South Presents Over-the-Top Comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone
by Jacob Kornhauser
A lonely man’s apartment isn’t usually a prime spot for entertainment. Unless, of course, the setting is Crystal Lake South’s theater. This is the setting of the school’s 2012 musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. This relatively new musical will debut on Friday, February 24th. Shows are at 7 p.m. on opening weekend, February 24th and 25th and the cost of a ticket is $10 for adults, $5 for students. To purchase tickets, visit www.d155.org/cls or buy them at the door on the day of the show.
The director, Ben Stoner, has been waiting for this exciting show for quite a while. “I’ve loved the show ever since I saw it. I’ve been kind of anxiously waiting for it to become available for production.”
When a lonely “Man in Chair” finds an old 1928 recording of a fictional production called The Drowsy Chaperone, the show comes to life in his mind. His colorful imagination includes showgirl Janet Van De Graaff (played by Senior, Lexis Danca) who plans to give up show business to marry a rich oil tycoon, Robert Martin (played by Junior, Randy Luken). It features Aldolpho (played by Sophomore, Grant Gassensmith), who is a villain too stupid to realize his own evilness. It spotlights George (played by Junior, Lucas Black) who is a best-man too stressed to realize his own kindness. Of course it also has “The Drowsy Chaperone” (played by Senior, Jessica Orpen) herself, along with a cast of other colorful characters.
The star of the show is “Man in Chair” who never once leaves the stage. Played by sophomore Neal Overbay, “Man in Chair” is a dynamic character who is never out of the spotlight.
“A show like this puts a strain on one particular actor, and this year that’s Neal Overbay,” Stoner says, “He’s on stage the whole time, he has a lot of dialogue, and that makes it more unique.”
However, Overbay is just one of about 100 people involved in the musical; this show involves a lot of moving parts.
“We’ve got 47 cast members, 23 orchestra members, another 25 crew members, a staff of about 15, and countless volunteers,” Stoner explains.
With that many people, communication is key. Making sure that every practice hour is utilized is also imperative.
There is no question that this cast is committed to achieving those goals and putting on the best show possible.
“We’ve got a really great ensemble of talented students. They are all playing these wildly vibrant, eccentric roles that are really funny and those roles feature our talent really well,” says Stoner, who seems as excited as ever to be directing Crystal Lake South’s latest musical.
Overall, this fun, family-friendly show has everything that a musical promises.
As Stoner puts it, “There’s a little something for everyone!”
“Man in Chair” Overbay, realizes the rare opportunity that he has to reach such a wide audience, “My sister used to do musicals and I would be like ‘wow’ I don’t know how that person can remember all those lines, and now it’s cool being that person and having people look up to me in the same way that I did when my sister was in high school.”
That same sentiment is shared by several cast members who want to excel during their time in the spotlight. Even the normally-quiet Lexis Danca, who portrays Janet Van De Graaff, finds herself getting sucked into the chaotic nature of the show, “This show really makes me push myself as an actress; it makes me realize that I can get a little bit more crazy sometimes.”
Randy Luken, who portrays Robert Martin, is also excited for the rare opportunity that he has with this show, “This show will be so rewarding because I will have conquered something very challenging that not many people have done before.”
The time in the spotlight is near for these cast members, and the excitement is growing.
“It’s show time. It’s like the big game, it’s the moment that we’ve all been waiting for,” Stoner says of opening night.
On February 24th, the wait will be over, the curtain will rise, and at Crystal Lake South, all eyes will be on one man in his apartment.
The show is 90 minutes long. No intermission.
The performance dates/times are:
Friday, February 24th at 7:00p.m.
Saturday, February 25th at 7:00p.m.
Friday, March 2nd at 7:00p.m.
Saturday, March 3rd at 2:00p.m. and 7:00p.m.
Tickets can be purchased, as follows:
Online: www.d155.org/cls. There is an online service fee of approximately $2 per ticket.
By phone: (815) 893-5199. Last date for phone orders is Feb. 21.
Tickets are $10 adult, $5 student, $5 senior