FOLLIES OF ‘15: The Twenties come roaring back tonight

FOLLIES OF ‘15: The Twenties come roaring back tonight

Follies of ‘15

Mt. Baker’s ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ roars back to the 1920s.

Barry Coulter

Are you looking to escape the dreary horrors of the real world? May we suggest the “Charleston!”

Jump back into those Roaring Twenties with Mt. Baker Wild Theatre’s latest mega-offering at the Key City Theatre, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a high energy parody of those hit Broadway Follies of the 1920s. A “romp” is a good way to describe it. Where but the 1920s would you rather be, to get your cold feets hawt!

We find ourselves in lonely apartment of the “Man in The Chair,” where the occupant broods over happier times and happier art forms. To cheer up his lonely evening and to entice us in, he puts on an album of one of his favourite 1920s musicals — “The Drowsy Chaperone.” And just like that, the stage explodes in song and dance. We’re back in Broadway’s Jazz Age, and Busby Berkeley is in the house!

The Man in The Chair (played by the wry Carter Gulseth) serves as our narrator, introducing us to the characters and talking us through the plotlines and the musical numbers. “Plotlines” may be stretching it a bit, as our narrator confesses. The story is a frame for the music, the song, the dance. Basically: The big star Janet (Emily Bohmer) is getting married, but the gangsters want the wedding to fail so the show can go on. The starlet (Jade Duchscherer) wants a shot at the big time, the producer (Ty Ryley) is threatened by recipe-wielding gangsters, the Chaperone (Madison Lee) offers some dubious advice, there is a stupendous chorus provided by “The Help,” there are ever so many romantic misunderstandings, and even an intervention from the (self-described) “King of Love!”(Andrew Schubert).  And once again, the eternal question is asked: “Why would anyone put olives in a Gibson’s martini?”

The main characters include: The Drowsy Chaperone – Madison Lee; Aldolpho – Andrew Schubert; Feldzieg – Ty Ryley; Gangster 1 –  Eve Sperling; Gangster 2 – Jessika Nicolajsen; George – Duncan Van der Roest; Janet Van de Graaf – Emily Bohmer; Kitty – Jade Duchscherer; Man in Chair – Carter Gulseth; Mrs. Tottendale –  Tessa Charlton; Robert Martin – Dawson Rutledge; Trix – Emma Schraepel; Underling – Cam Sperling.

The play is directed by Bethany Turcon. Choreography is by Siona Jackson. The orchestra is directed by Stephanie Tischauer.

The fabulous “Drowsy Chaperone” opens tonight, Thursday, May 7 at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook, and runs through May 10. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m May 7-9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 10.