Drowsy Chaperone a toe-tapping good time
Hudson Music Club stages another winner
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.
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.