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‘Drowsy Chaperone’ opens at Troutt

The Belmont musical theater department will present comedy musical “The Drowsy Chaperone,” starting March 25 in the Troutt Theater.

“In a way we are able to make fun of ourselves,” said Calvin Malone, one of the actors playing the role of seducer Aldolpho.

A play within a play, the audience watches the show along with narrating Man In Chair, who weaves in his own commentary.

“He basically has a love affair with the show,” said Erik Christensen, playing Man In Chair.

In the 1928 play, showgirl star Janet Van de Graaff plans to marry the rich Robert Martin. Her producer, Feldzieg is threatened by gangsters to keep her on the show. Feldzieg hires Adolpho to seduce her away from Robert. Meanwhile, Janet herself has doubts about her fiancé.

The audience switches from contemporary Man In Chair as he converses with the audience and the over dramatic 1920s.

“It’s a parody on golden age music in late 20s,” said Malone.

Even though he is not the only one playing Aldolpho, as his first big role, Malone appreciates watching others play the same roles.

“I like learning from the other guy,” he said. “Everybody is doing such a great job.”

Christensen also enjoys his first role which breaks the fourth wall – the wall between audience and characters.

“He kind of acts as the audience’s conscience,” he said. “He has lines in the show but at time he’s not limited to those lines.”

The amusing array of characters, while on different levels, come together to create a unique audience experience.

The play runs the last weekend in March and the first weekend of April, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, with two sets of casts for different showtimes.

“Although the story is the same, each take on the show is completely different,” said Malone.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, Belmont faculty and staff and non-Belmont students and free for Belmont students with ID.

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