AMTE Presents “The Drowsy Chaperone” on December 1 and 3

Published Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 12:46 pm

The Appalachian Musical Theatre Ensemble (AMTE), the performance arm of the Appalachian Musical Theatre Club (AMTC) of Appalachian State University, will present the musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone,” winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, and Best Original Score by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, who also wrote the lyrics. The production takes place at 8 p.m. on December 1 and 3 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, December 3 in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State University.

Hannah Daniels, seated at left on the front row, is a junior theatre education major from Hendersonville, NC playing the lead role of “Woman in Chair,” a role originally played by author Bob Martin. She is surrounded by characters from her favorite musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, currently being produced by the Appalachian Musical Theatre Ensemble. Photography by Peyton Smith, a junior commercial photography major from Mooresville, NC.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is what one would call a “musical within a comedy.” The show takes a look into the life of a woman alone in her apartment, an antisocial Broadway fanatic with lots of opinions.  She leads the audience through a recording of her favorite show, a fictional 1920s  musical comedy. As the production comes to life in her living room, “Woman in Chair” narrates the story of the wedding of Feldzieg’s Follies headlining star, Janet Van De Graaf.  Feldzieg, Janet’s producer, devises several plans to sabotage the wedding in order to keep her as his leading act in show business. As Janet faces these obstacles to marry Robert Martin, she seeks advice from her chaperone, a woman with a drinking problem during the American prohibition. The show is full of wild characters, catchy 1920s themed songs, and endless laughs.

Mackenzie Smith, senior theatre performance major from Concord, NC stars in the title role of The Drowsy Chaperone. Photography by Peyton Smith, a junior commercial photography major from Mooresville, NC.

The show is entirely student-run, led by director Krystopher Paschen, a senior theatre education major from Lincolnton, NC. He is a former president of AMTC who has been a part of the club since his freshmen year. The assistant director and musical director is Savannah Bennett, senior theatre performance major from Asheville, NC and current president of the club. The show is choreographed by the club’s vice president, Sabrina Furches, a junior double major in general theatre and dance studies from Lexington, NC, with vocal coaching by A. J. McCurry, a senior music vocal performance major from Huntersville, NC. These four creative team members are working in collaboration with AMTC’s officers to provide leadership to a production and design crew comprised of more than 15 student club members. Aaron Ames is the accompanist.

Principle roles are filled by Mackenzie Smith, senior theatre performance major from Concord, NC as the Drowsy Chaperone, Lily Jordan, sophomore theatre performance major from Charlotte, NC as Janet Van De Graaf, and Jonathan Long, freshmen double major in general theatre and international business from Davidson, NC as her fiancé, Robert Martin.

The Plemmons Student Union is located at 236 Locust Street on the Appalachian campus in Boone. Free parking for the performances is available on campus in faculty lots, the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons, the Stadium Lot and the Peacock/Raley Parking Lot. Ticket prices are $10 for students and $12 for adults and may be purchased online via the following link: appalachianmusicaltheatreensemble.ticketleap.com/the-drowsy-chaperone.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, www.MTIShows.com. The original Broadway production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” was produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Bob Boyett, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag, and Jill Furman.

Virginia Riggsbee (left), a junior general theatre major from Mooresville, NC plays Kitty, the companion of Feldzieg, played by Ryan Haynes (middle), a senior healthcare management major from Hendersonville, NC. Her role revolves around trying to gain the attention of Feldzieg and receive her own act in one of his productions. Feldzieg does not notice Kitty as he is preoccupied with keeping his headlining act, Janet Van De Graaf, played by Lily Jordan (right), a sophomore theatre performance major from Charlotte, NC. Photography by Peyton Smith, a junior commercial photography major from Mooresville, NC.

The Appalachian Musical Theatre Ensemble is the performance arm of the university’s Appalachian Musical Theatre Club, and has previously produced “Rent,” “Godspell,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Spring Awakening,” “Urinetown,” “Assassins,” “Chicago,” and “Legally Blonde: The Musical.” The club has sold out several productions and its membership is one of the largest of any student organizations on campus. The club is an affiliated student organization of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State University.

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