It's not often you see a musical where the narrator admits the script is trite and the characters cardboard.
This is a key reason why Kent County Theatre Guild's musical "The Drowsy Chaperone" is so hilarious. The musical debuts Friday at the Patchwork Playhouse in Dover. The show is led by stage director Chris Polo with musical direction from Eddie Cohee.
"The Drowsy Chaperone" revolves around a silly storyline where the narrator, named Man in Chair, plays a recording of his favorite musical comedy, "The Drowsy Chaperone," a vaudeville musical set in the 1920s on the wedding day of Broadway starlet Janet Van De Graaff and her wealthy fiancé, Robert Martin. After getting hitched, Van De Graaff plans to ditch her career, which means she'll no longer star in the show "Follies." It also means the show might not be a success without her. And that wouldn't please a gangster boss who's been investing his dough into the show. So you know what that means? The wedding must be sabotaged.
In come whacky characters like the Drowsy Chaperone (Van De Graaff's alcoholic chaperone who's also a Broadway actress in the twilight years of her career), Aldolpho (the self-proclaimed lover from Europe who's hired to seduce Van De Graaff), Gangster No. 1 and Gangster No. 2 (henchmen disguised as pastry chefs who work for the gangster boss) and many others who get entangled into the boss' plan.
"It's as stupid as can be, but it's so funny," Polo, 58, of Dover, said of the musical's plot and characters.
The show's vaudeville soundtrack always cracks Polo up, since the music is beautiful and broad, but the lyrics quirky.
"The Bride's Lament," for instance, is sung by Van De Graaff after she has a quarrel with Martin.
"The whole thing is about comparing him to a monkey," Polo said. "It's really bad; it's a bad song."
"The Drowsy Chaperone" can be seen at the Patchwork Playhouse in Dover all weekend.
IF YOU GO
WHAT 'The Drowsy Chaperone' musical
WHEN 8 p.m., Friday; 8 p.m., Saturday. Final show Saturday, June 29
WHERE Patchwork Playhouse, 140 Roosevelt Ave., Dover
INFO kctg.org or call (302) 674-3568