Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Memorial High Opens The Drowsy Chaperone, A Jazz Age Musical

Hannah Goulden as Mrs. Tottendale, Meredith Rauch as the bride, Janet van de Graaff, Harris Webb as Underling and Regan Hicks as The Drowsy Chaperone
Over on Echo Lane, Memorial High School Theatre students have been busy rehearsing lines and lyrics and touching up their new set for their upcoming musical, The Drowsy Chaperone

Director Nicole Morgan says that she chose this show, a five-time Tony award-winning parody of the frivolous American musicals from the Jazz Age, because “it’s witty, it’s fun, and it’s very clever.” 

Having recently been awarded Thespian Theatre Troupe of the Year at the Texas State Thespian Festival, the entire theatre department is engrossed in making the upcoming show its best yet. 

The Drowsy Chaperone will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 29-31 and Feb. 5-7, and at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Memorial High School Performing Arts Center, located at 935 Echo Lane. Tickets are $15 and available at

When a musical-theatre fan—the Man in the Chair—tries to cheer himself up by listening to a recording of a fictional 1928 hit musical comedy, the audience watches as the show comes alive.  In the show-within-a-show, Broadway star Janet van de Graaff plans to give up her career to marry tycoon Robert Martin. 

Hilarity ensues with the appearance of Janet’s tipsy chaperone, gangsters, an exasperated butler, a Latin lothario, a brassy aviatrix, a ditzy ingĂ©nue who hopes to replace Janet, and a producer who hopes to persuade Janet to change her plans.

Memorial High students are really enjoying the hard work that it takes to bring this show to the stage.  Senior Denver Fesmire plays Adolpho, whom he describes as a “European Casanova character.” 

Adolpho is a fun role “because he’s a big character,” he says.  “I just try to make as sleazy of an accent as I can.”

Regan Hicks, a sophomore who plays the tipsy chaperone, says the players have practiced a lot to get the music just right:  “All of the songs are really difficult because of the harmonies and overlap,” she says, describing the music as fantastic. “It’s like the Man in the Chair says – it gives you a tune to carry in your head.” 

The show’s “quick-witted dialogue and sarcastic humor make it one of a kind,” says Patrick Greer, a junior.  He enjoys playing the groom because “I’m allowed to purposely be a horrible actor, since that is what my character is.”  

Meredith Rauch, a sophomore who plays Janet, the bride, loves “how oblivious Janet is to the world around her and how willing she is to give up a huge career for her marriage.”

In addition to regular price tickets, Memorial High Theatre will also sponsor Admission to the VIP Room option where attendees can enjoy behind-the-scenes photos, the senior video, and appetizers foods and sweet treats for an additional $5 for Friday and Saturday evening shows.

For questions or for groups larger than 20 people, contact Memorial Theatre Director Nicole Morgan at 713-251-2535 or


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