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Charming “The Drowsy Chaperone” tour (Stranahan Theater, Toledo – Review) January 16, 2010

Posted by ronannarbor in Entertainment, musical theater, Theatre.
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The charming musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone opened this week at the Stranahan Theater in Toledo for a week-long run. Winner of multiple 2006 Tony Awards, the tour is cotton candy on a cold winter day. The show’s been using the tagline “musical inside a comedy” for several years now, and that is exactly what you have here.

I saw the original Broadway cast in NYC, and this production is every bit as good as that. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the tour uses the original Broadway sets — which are themselves clever and colorful. Performed without an intermission, the tour has a tremendous cast that works well as an ensemble and smiles the entire hour and 45 minutes they are on stage.

The real stand-out here is Craig E. Treubert as “The Man in the Chair” — our narrator for the evening. His performance is sublime in a part that was originally played by Bob Martin on Broadway, and a gimmicky Bob Saget later in the run…Treubert makes the part his own and makes you feel like you want to go spend another evening listening to him talk about musicals. Great work there.

But everyone in this cast is strong and up to the deceptively difficult parts. The choral work is terrific, and everything looks great.

My one complaint — the terrible sound at the Stranahan. In the past, I’ve complained about sound in this 2600 seat barn of a theatre — but here it’s also the fault of the soundboard which missed not one, but about 7 cues this afternoon. That’s unforgivable in professional theatre, especially for a show that depends on the audience hearing every word. Lets hope that was just a bad afternoon for the sound tech crew. If not, someone needs to be fired and another soundboard operator brought on for the remainder of their tour.

Overall, it’s a pleasant and charming show, and it comes Highly recommended.

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