A Most “Energetic” Drowsy Chaperone

Providence High Senior Miranda DeMarco as Janet surrounded by company in “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

It’s springtime in Los Angeles, the season when high schools throughout the city blossom and rising stars bloom, in their performing arts productions. Burbank’s Providence High for the Arts — quite comparable to NYC’s “famed” LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts — presents a spectacular, dazzling “theatre in the round” production of The Drowsy Chaperone. The students are involved in each and every aspect of the show, from set design, costumes to acting, and choreography. The two narrators (Wo-Man in Chair), Giselle Bonilla and Suzie Soghoyan introduce the show as “a good story, much like the music of Gershwin and Cole Porter, to take us away for awhile.”

Indeed, The Drowsy Chaperone does just that, as the audience is transported to a simpler time, a world of music and color, the roaring 1920s, filled with champagne wishes, caviar dreams, and “jazzy overtures as musical appetizers.”

With the dazzling, delightful tap dance sequence from The Artist still fresh in our minds and hearts, the musical number “Cold Feet” is sure to delight, with sophisticated steps (tap and jitterbug) ala 42nd Street. It’s a courageous feat to bring a Tony award winning Broadway musical to a high school stage; this ensemble does an amazing job, as the hardworking cast members enthusiastically re-create the production.

The dance number called “Show-Off” features a charming showgirl who claims she doesn’t need attention, yet she does everything to hold the spotlight (hula hoop, play the recorder) and is a sheer amusement.

Providence High, in association with Discovery Onstage, is a gem of a program, hidden in the wooded hills of Burbank. The show does justice to the original. It’s a lighthearted, uplifting homage to classic American musical theater, with Busby Berkeley style song and dance, glitzy costumes, and vaudeville shtick. Smiles and laughter were abundant in the audience.

The Drowsy Chaperone runs March 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. For tickets, visit providencehigharts.org.


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