January 10, 2007

The Drowsy Chaperone

Did you know that Georgia Engel appears in the Drowsy Chaperone as a supporting player? Her performance is one of many reasons that you should go see this play.

If you don't remember who she is, perhaps I can refresh your memory. Did you ever watch The Mary Tyler Moore show? Do you remember the ditsy blonde character with the high pitched voice and perfect comic timing that appeared as Ted Baxter's wife? That was her. Have you ever seen the later episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond where his brother Robert has to deal with his somewhat naive yet very judgemental in-laws? She played the mother-in-law. She's always sweet, funny, naive and charming and she brings all that and more to her performance of Mrs. Tottendale - mother of the bride.

Another great performance, that makes the > $100 asking price worth every penny, is given generously to willing audiences nightly by Danny Burstein as the Latin lethario Aldolpho. When I worked there last week the understudy was in and the performance while good wasn't quite the same. Burstein is a comic genius. His performance is hilarious and convincing and hilarious. I dare you NOT to laugh at his performance. He really delivers.

Everybody else is pretty great too.
As far as female comedic performances go I'd say Beth Leavel and Georgia Engel are pretty equal. Beth Leavel is shameless. She really goes balls out playing the title character to the max without going over the top or making it silly. Her voice is strong. You wouldn't believe a little skinny woman like her could belt the way she does but boy does she belt. And she is just so funny, using the perfect combination of camp and candor.

It's worth two hours of your time.

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