The third show in the 2019 season is the Broadway At Music Circus premiere of the award-winning musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone is now on stage, starring writer/actor/comedian Bruce Vilanch and featuring a cast of Broadway veterans. The show runs Tuesday, July 9 through Sunday, July 14 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento.
The role of Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone is played by the Emmy award-winning comedy writer, songwriter and actor Bruce Vilanch. In addition to serving as head writer for the Academy Awards, his extensive writing credits include work on numerous Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Comic Relief, “Donny and Marie,” and for artists including Bette Midler and Angela Lansbury. Along with a six-year stint on “Hollywood Squares” and extensive film and TV credits, Vilanch performed as Edna Turnblad on Broadway and in the national tour of Hairspray and appeared off-Broadway in his self-penned one-man show, Bruce Vilanch: Almost Famous.
Let’s see what the critics have to say!
Jeff Hudson, Capital Public Radio: The show’s large cast, dressed in a colorful cavalcade of costumes, spoofs the stock characters found in these 1920s musicals, like the seductive Latin lover and the ditzy dame. What makes this show appealing is the glittering, energetic dance numbers interspersed with witty dialogue and topped off with sarcastic comments from our host, The Man in the Chair. The Man in the Chair is played by Bruce Vilanch, who honed his verbal repartee doing four seasons on the Hollywood Squares. So if you’re looking for silly summer fun, check out “The Drowsy Chaperone.” And by the way, the show clocks in at just under two hours… exactly what our host asked for.
Michael P Coleman, Sac Cultural Hub: That is a testament to this show’s crisp script and the brilliant cast, who repeatedly displayed the ability to start and stop on a dime, ceding the stage to Man In Chair. It’s also a testament to the aforementioned Man In Chair, masterfully played by Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, songwriter, and actor Bruce Vilanch. But Vilanch has a lot of competition in this production. The show’s drunken title character is wondrously played by Broadway At Music Circus alumna Lynne Wintersteller, whose comic timing, rubbery facial expressions, a penchant for physical comedy, and stage presence reminded me of Saturday Night Live alumna Kristen Wiig. Similarly, Kaleigh Cronin blew me away as Janet Van De Graaff, especially during her purposefully overblown first number, “Show Off.” And Bradley Dean, making his Broadway At Music Circus debut as Aldolpho, almost made me consider changing my name…but then, I’d never be able to utter “Aldoooooolpho” as he does!
Rachel Mayfield, Sacramento News, and Review: You’d have to be seriously sleep-deprived to get drowsy during this week’s Music Circus production of The Drowsy Chaperone. This 2006 Tony-winner is both a spoof and a loving homage to the great old musical comedies that sought nothing more than to entertain. Bruce Vilanch is brilliantly cast as Man in Chair, an agoraphobic, middle-ageish theater-lover who escapes his blues by spinning a recording of his favorite musical ever, the (fictional) 1928 play, The Drowsy Chaperone.