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‘Drowsy Chaperone’ takes stage

Members of the cast perform a scene during the final rehearsal of "The Drowsy Chaperone" at the Troy University Trojan Center Theater. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

The 2006 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “The Drowsy Chaperon” opens at 7:30 tonight at the Trojan Center Theater.

The musical comedy is being presented by the Troy University’s Department of Theater and Dance and will also be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Monday. The matinee performance will be at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“The Drowsy Chaperon” is under the direction of Roy Hudson, who joined the university faculty as assistant professor in theater education in July.

“Roy Hudson has been in the high school arena in Birmingham for 20 years and is a most enthusiastic, energetic and delightful addition to our program,” said Dr. Maryjo Cochran, dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. “He was the 2009 Alabama Teacher of the Year and is prefect for the development of our theater education program.

“So, I anticipate that ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ is going to be a blockbuster performance.”

“The Drowsy Chaperone” storyline is of a sad man who, while alone in his apartment, decides to play the soundtrack of the 1928 musical comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone” and the play comes to life in his apartment.

Hudson describes the play as a musical within a show.

“When the man puts the record on, it comes to life in his apartment, so the actors come out of the closets, the refrigerator, through the windows and then act out the show,” Hudson said. “While that’s going on, once in a while, he’ll stop the show and comment on the actors and the show. He makes comments about his life and how real life is not like a musical.

“There’s really wonderful social commentary that’s in there, too. It’s a very, very fun show but also he makes a lot of comments about prejudice and race. Those kinds of elements are brought in as well. It makes it a very different kind of show.”

Cochran said one of the really exciting things about “The Drowsy Chaperone” is that it showcases wonderful young actors – freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

“I’m really impressed with their professionalism and ability to sing,” Cochran said. “This production will demonstrate the caliber of singing and performance of our theater and music students. That should make for a really strong musical production.”

Ray Smith is the pit conductor and Dr. Michael Hix is the vocal coach.

A special attraction for the Sunday matinee is the director’s lecture following the performance. Hudson and several of the designers and actors will discuss how the show was put together and how it applies to the College Reading Initiative.

“The College Reading Initiative recommends that all fine arts students read Daniel Pink’s ‘A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future,’” Cochran said. “His book is about how creative people have unlimited opportunities and the lecture will dovetail elements of the performance to the book.”

Large audiences are expected for all performances so everyone is encouraged get their tickets early.

Tickets are available at the Troy University Box Office and will be available at the door. Reserved tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5.