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PREVIEW: The Look of The Drowsy Chaperone (Artistry)

Just as the Minnesota Fringe Festival was closing this past weekend, a Fringe-related show was opening down in Bloomington.¬†The Drowsy Chaperone, presented by Artistry, actually has a history as a fringe festival show. This musical began its life as a spoof written for a bachelor party. One wedding later, the groom joined forces with the original team to adapt the work for the 1999 Toronto Fringe Festival. The result was enough to warm any Fringe team’s hearts: the show’s box office magic and favorable reviews attracted a second, post-Fringe run, which lead to a professional production, which finally lead to a successful 2006 Broadway run.

The incarnation of The Drowsy Chaperone that made its way to Broadway, and which is being performed by Artistry, is a 4-person effort: Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison wrote the music and lyrics, while Bob Martin (the original bachelor) and Don McKellar¬†wrote the final book. Here’s a peek at Artistry’s staging:

01 - Photo by Hillary Roberts
George (Carl Swanson) dances with the soon-to-be-wed Robert (C. Ryan Shipley). Photo by Hilary Roberts.
04 - Photo by Hilary Roberts
The Man in the Chair (Tod Peterson) prepares to tell a story. Photo by Hilary Roberts.
14 - Photo by Hilary Roberts
Celebrity actress Janet (Angela Steele) attracts a pair of photographers (Daniel Hodges, France Roberts). Photo by Hilary Roberts.
17 - Photo by Hilary Roberts
France Roberts (back, left), Angela Steele (front, center), Gregory Adam (back, right) start to cut loose. Photo by Hilary Roberts.
32 - Photo by Hilary Roberts
The Chaperone (Brittany Parker) gives dubious and partly sloshed advice to Janet (Angela Steele). Photo by Hilary Roberts.

The Drowsy Chaperone plays through September 11 at the Bloomington Center for the Arts’ Schneider Theater.

Basil Considine