Valencia College Theater Presents 'Drowsy Chaperone'

Valencia College Theater will present the Tony Award-winning musical
comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” as the opening production of its 2011-2012
theater season.

This unusual musical was born in 1997 by a group of comedy writers who created a spoof of old musicals as a wedding gift for Second City comedy troupe veteran Bob Martin and his wife, Janet Van De Graaff. After several incarnations, the musical appeared on Broadway and, in 2006, won four Tonys.

An ode to old musicals that were light on plot and heavy on comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone” is narrated by “Man in Chair,” a musical theater nut. As the story begins, Man in  Chair is feeling blue and decides to cheer himself up by listening to the soundtrack of an old musical from the ’20s, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As he narrates, the musical literally bursts to life in his living room. The musical features stock characters including gangsters disguised as pastry chefs, a Broadway producer, a wanna-be showgirl, a Latin lover and the drowsy – or tipsy – chaperone.

Valencia’s production will be directed by Valencia Artistic Director Julia Allardice  Gagne, with musical direction by Tim Hanes, and choreography by Lesley Brasseux Rodgers. Valencia students Robert DiGiovanni, Jillian Gizzi and Paul Hambidge are featured.

The musical opens on Friday, Oct. 21, with additional performances on Oct. 22 and 23 and Oct. 27-30. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. every night except for Sunday, when the curtain rises at 2 p.m. The Oct. 29 performance will feature American Sign Language interpreters and a special section will be reserved for the hearing impaired.

The play will be staged at Valencia’s Performing Arts Center on the college’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

Tickets are $12 for general admission; $10 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Patrons who buy their tickets online at will receive a $2 discount on each ticket by using the coupon code VALENCIAWEB. Tickets for the special section for the hearing impaired – and tickets for all performances – can be purchased by calling Valencia’s box office at 407-582-2900. Advance ticket purchase is strongly suggested.

A Designer’s Roundtable: A Creative Look into The Drowsy Chaperone, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 at 7  to 8 p.m. at Valencia College East Campus – Presented in partnership with Valencia College. Central Florida is presented with a unique opportunity with both Valencia and Mad Cow Theatre producing “The Drowsy Chaperone,” simultaneously this fall. While the scripted word is the same, you can be assured that both theaters will create two unique performances for audiences to enjoy. Join us for a discussion with the technical masterminds behind each production as we discuss how Valencia and Mad Cow Theater will design the same production under distinctly different visions that hold true to each organizations creative mission.