Drow­sy Cha­pe­rone a toe-tap­ping good time

Hud­son Mu­sic Club stages another win­ner

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

In these of­ten un­cer­tain times, it seems one sure bet is that the Hud­son Mu­sic Club will stage a win­ning per­for­mance year af­ter year.

The long-run­ning club rai­sed the cur­tain last Fri­day on it's 50th year of song and dance with the mu­si­cal co­me­dy The Drow­sy Cha­pe­rone.

Though tech­ni­cal­ly billed as an ama­teur pro­duc­tion, Hud­sonMu­sic Clubs shows are consis­tent­ly known for pro­fes­sio­nal sets (which were done this year by pro­fes­sio­nal set de­si­gner Jean-Claude Oli­vier), and pro­fes­sio­nal-qua­li­ty cos­tumes that al­ways im­press with vi­brant hues an­de­ra-per­fect ac­ces­so­ries.

The Drow­sy Cha­pe­rone begins when a mo­dern day fellow known as Man in the Chair, won­der­ful­ly played by James Mil­vain, strikes up a rhe­to­ri­cal conver­sa­tion with the au­dience.

Man in the Chair loves mu­si­cal theatre and is not afraid to tell anyone who­will lis­ten - in an An­dy Roo­ney-esque way - about his all­time favourite show, TheD­row­syC­ha­pe­rone.

Through his dead­pan ru­mi­na­tions Mil­vain's Man draws the au­dience in­to the sto­ry, which he ex­plains with re­strai­ned re­lish.

With cle­ver sta­ging, Man sits off to one side of the large stage at theatre Paul-Émi­leMe­loche in Vau­dreuil-Do­rion, while the re­main­der of the space comes vi­vid­ly to life through­his nar­ra­tive.

Co­me­dyof er­rors

The mu­si­cal Man re­counts is set in the 1920s and is filled with more than 20 co­lour­ful characters.

The sto­ry is about Ja­net, played by So­phie Pro­to­pou­los, a Hol­ly­wood screen ac­tress at the peak of her ca­reer who de­cides to toss fame away and mar­ry Ro­bert, played by Je­re­myCar­ver.

Trying to stop her ho­we­ver is her craf­ty agent and a silly quar­tet of gang­sters, allw­ho don't want to lose out on the pro­fits Ja­net's fame ge­ne­rate.

Th­row in one cha­pe­rone, beau­ti­ful­ly brought to life by Mag­gie Owen, who has a pen­chant for fre­quent­ly hit­ting the li­quor bot­tle and you have just what the show is, a co­me­dyof er­rors.

Pro­to­pou­los is note and picture per­fect as Ja­net, exu­ding an old-Hol­ly­wood gla­mour that made the play more than be­lie­vable, while Car­ver, a sin­ger with awide range, is an en­ter­tai­ning and im­pres­sive lea­ding man.

One me­mo­rable dance scene with his best man, George, played by Phi­lippe Go­beille, show­ca­sed both men's skills in a tap dan­cing dance-off.

Al­so de­li­ve­ring im­pres­sive per­for­mances were Gail Mar­chand as a dit­zy so­cia­lite, Ja­mie-Lee Sau­cier's Kit­ty, an ado­ra­bly brain­less ac­tress-wan­na-be and Kat­ja Texei­ra, who gave two­brief but no­te­wor­thy per­for­mances.

And Mike Me­li­no, who played Adol­pho, was a hit, es­pe­cial­ly du­ring a co­mi­cal love scene wi­thO­wen, who of­ten stole the show as the­drun­ken cha­pe­rone.

The Drow­sy Cha­pe­rone is a more than wor­thw­hile way to spend an eve­ning in the re­gion and the fact that apor­tion of the show's pro­ceeds will be do­na­ted to La Pas­se­relle, a Vau­dreuil-Do­rion shel­ter for wo­men and chil­dren vic­tims of conju­gal vio­lence, makes it a must-see when it runs this wee­kend and­next.

Since 2008, theHud­sonMu­sic Club has do­na­ted close to $12,000 to the­wo­men's shel­ter from­show­pro­fits.

The Drow­sy Chaperon is run­ning in Vau­dreuil-Do­rion, at 400, ave­nue SaintC­harles. The show will conti­nue this Fri­day, March 18 at 8 p.m. and March 19 at 2 and 8 p.m. Ad­di­tio­nal shows­will run March 20 at 2 p.m., March 25 at 8 p.m. and March 26 at 2 & 8 p.m. For ti­ckets or in­for­ma­tion, call Do­ris at 514 830-2131 or go to http:/hud­sonmu­sic-club.this­ti­cket.com.

TheHud­sonMu­sic Club's ren­di­tion of TheD­row­sy Cha­pe­rone is amust-see class act.

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