Drowsy Chaperone

Gianluca Ieraci plays Aldolpho and Kristen Siapas plays the Chaperone

Get ready to be transported back to the roaring 1920s, where flappers danced the Charleston, gin flowed freely, and a wedding day goes hilariously awry. The KordaZone Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, is thrilled to present “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a side-splitting musical comedy that pays loving homage to the Jazz Age while delighting modern audiences with its wit, charm, and show-stopping numbers. Directed by the talented David Burrows, the show runs from April 5th to April 20th, 2024, promising an unforgettable experience filled with laughter, romance, and a touch of nostalgia.

“I first became a fan of the show when I watched one of the production numbers performed on the Tony Awards by Sutton Foster,” shares Burrows. “I loved the tongue-in-cheek nature of the number, matched with such an infectious tune. Although the main character’s story is quite specific, it is also universal. Everybody can feel lonely sometimes and want to escape into an imaginary world.”


Drowsy Chaperone

Eric Miinch plays the Man in Chair

The story unfolds through the eyes of the endearing “Man in Chair,” played by Eric Miinch, who finds solace in his favorite musical from the 1920s. As he plays the record, the colorful characters come to life, including the titular drowsy chaperone, portrayed by the incomparable Kristen Siapas. “She exudes the maternal charms that the Man in Chair admires, all wrapped up in a sardonic sense of humor that keeps the audience laughing,” Burrows enthuses.

Joining Siapas is a stellar cast of local talent, including newcomer Gianluca Ieraci as the hilarious Aldolpho and Maria Harman as the glamorous Janet van de Graaff. Other standout performers include David Sivak as the dashing Robert Martin, Brett Hallick as the loyal George, and David Nisbet as the desperate theatre producer Mr. Feldzieg. “We are blessed to have a stellar cast for our show, featuring talent from all across the Windsor-Essex area,” Burrows notes. “It is truly a reflection of how the many theatre companies in the area support and nurture performers and each other.”

“The cast and crew have had meaningful conversations about aspects of the show that may not speak to today’s audiences the way they did even a decade ago,” Burrows explains. “Given that our cast is diverse both in terms of ethnic background and gender identity, we have endeavored to address any lines or lyrics that may inadvertently cause offense. I think we have found happy solutions to those challenges.”

To bring the Jazz Age to life, Burrows collaborates with choreographers Cindy Pattison and Nathalie Mero, who create dynamic and engaging dance numbers that showcase the cast’s skills. “They are able to bring the language of dance and create numbers that make even the most novice dancer look good while showcasing the skills of the more experienced performers,” he praises.

The creative team also includes stage manager Janna Desmarais, properties manager Rachel Hillis, and a talented band featuring Nick Morvay and Mike Karloff on piano, Mitchell Leyte on bass, Vanessa Harnish on drums and percussion, Rob Fazecash on trumpet, and Sebastian Bachmeier on reeds. Together, they work to create a seamless and immersive experience for the audience.

“The Drowsy Chaperone is both a loving homage to the musicals of the Jazz Age and a playful send-up of the tropes of musical theatre,” Burrows explains. “Audiences can laugh at some of the sillier elements while understanding why Man in Chair is drawn to them and returns to the show again and again.”

The show’s meta-theatrical elements, which see the Man in Chair narrating and commenting on the action, add an extra layer of depth and humor to the production. “The beauty of the show is how his story is reflected in the characters of the musical, and how he relates to them,” Burrows notes.

“In a post-quarantine world, people relate to the idea of being lonely and disconnected,” Burrows reflects. “We have all faced our moments when we have felt ‘blue.’ So we relate to the idea of escaping into the comfort of our favorite show. We understand that the characters can feel like our friends or remind us of our mother. I suspect that audiences will smile in recognition when they see the Man in Chair do the same.”

With its perfect blend of humor, heart, and nostalgia, “The Drowsy Chaperone” promises to be a must-see event for theatre lovers in Windsor and beyond. “At one point in the show, the Man in Chair says that the show ‘does what a musical is supposed to do: it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune that you can carry with you in your head…a little something for when you’re feeling blue,'” Burrows quotes. “This may seem like a simple aspiration, but it really is a noble one. The show seeks to entertain, with lots of laughs, fun songs and dances, and a main character to root for. On that score, The Drowsy Chaperone is a smashing success.”

Don’t miss your chance to experience the magic of “The Drowsy Chaperone” at the KordaZone Theatre from April 5th to April 20th, 2024. Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite, by calling 519-324-6112, or at the door (cash and debit only). Come join the fun and let “The Drowsy Chaperone” whisk you away to a world of laughter, love, and unforgettable memories.


Drowsy Chaperone

Becca Miinch plays Kitty, and Dave Nisbet plays Feldzieg .


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