Lake Park High puts on spring musical 'The Drowsy Chaperone' April 20-23

Lake Park High School's theater and music departments will present the spring musical comedy "The Drowsy Chaperone" on April 20-23.

Performances will be 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the East Campus Dice Auditorium, 590 S. Medinah Road in Roselle.

Tickets at the door are $5; $3 for non-Lake Park students; and free for senior citizens, children under 13, and Lake Park students with an ID.

Q&A with director Kathy Weber

Q: Why did you choose "The Drowsy Chaperone" for Lake Park High School's spring musical?

A: "The Drowsy Chaperone" is subtitled: "A Musical Within a Comedy." I love the blend of singing, dancing, and being goofy. The play is an homage to the importance of art, especially theater, because it allows us to escape life's everyday sadness.

The hostess Mrs. Tottendale (junior Mia Mannella) and her loyal employee, known only as Underling (sophomore Anthony Johnson), sing "Love is Always Lovely" in Lake Park High's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone." Courtesy of Lake Park High School

Q: For those who aren't familiar, please describe the plot.

A: Man in Chair (sophomore Luke Thomas) talks directly to the audience from his New York City apartment. He excitedly plays clips from a record of his favorite stage musical from the 1920s, "The Drowsy Chaperone."

Q: How many students are involved with the production?

A: There are 35 actors, 15 musicians, and 10 crew members. The cast features the following students in leading roles: Man in Chair: sophomore Luke Thomas; Mrs. Tottendale: junior Mia Mannella; Underling: sophomore Anthony Johnson; Robert Martin: junior Akul Sharma; George: sophomore Julian Mostowski; Feldzieg: junior Chris Raymond; Kitty: senior Maggie Gordon; Gangster #1: sophomore Frankie Molfese; Gangster #2: sophomore Meya Wiggins; Aldolpho: senior Kyle Freeman; Janet Van De Graaf: senior Caroline Bisceglie; The Drowsy Chaperone: junior Brinly Wilson; and Trix, the Aviatrix: sophomore Lauren Troutman.

Q: How will your play differ from the original?

A: The original play won Tonys for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical in 1998. The source material is of such quality, and we have a strong cast, so I hope our audiences will enjoy it in 2023!

Gangsters (sophomores Meya Wiggins, left, and Frankie Molfese) disguised as pastry chefs perform the "Toledo Surprise" with show business producer Feldzieg (junior Chris Raymond) during Lake Park High's "The Drowsy Chaperone." Courtesy of Lake Park High School

Q: What were the most challenging aspects of getting this production together?

A: The most challenging aspect of getting a production like this together is not having as much rehearsal time as we would like. Our students have so many other commitments, it is difficult having them all available to create this ensemble show.

Q: What did you find most rewarding?

A: I have enjoyed the process of collaborating with students and staff who have a variety of talents. That's what theater is all about.

Pilot Trix (sophomore Lauren Troutman, center) sings "I Do, I Do in the Sky," one of the final numbers in Lake Park High's "The Drowsy Chaperone." Courtesy of Lake Park High School

Q: What were some of the best moments in putting together this production?

A: There were times during rehearsals when students and staff would laugh out loud because the script and the interpretation the actors give to the characters are so funny.

Q: What do you think audiences will enjoy most about this play?

A: This play embodies the way in which musical theater is a celebration of life.

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