A NEW REVIEW
From the INDY Week
A loopy musical send-up with a heart: this DROWSY CHAPERONE’s no sleeper
This production marks Clay Aiken’s return to the site of some of his earliest stage work, well before the days ofAmerican Idol and his subsequent leap to pop stardom. After a bit of digging, I found that I saw—and reviewed, for the News & Observer—the 1996 N.C. Theatre production of 1776 (in which he appeared in the modest supporting roles of A Painter and A Leather Apron), and the company’s 1997 iteration of Annie (in which he made the chorus).
Since neither of those reviews made any mention of the budding thespian and future pop star, I kind of need to make sure that doesn’t happen this time out.
Aiken surprised me, slowly turning a role that so easily qualifies as a stereotype itself—a somewhat catty musical theater fiend, of ambiguous sexual orientation—into a character whose wit, insight and increasing poignancy ultimately moved me. Though his makeup needed further tweaks to reflect the true age of the Man in Chair, I found I cared a lot more about Aiken’s character, under Hushion’s direction, than the lead who played to the same house in the professional touring version in 2008.
In these hands, we spend some time in a small room with a man who is—and, suddenly, isn’t—quite alone. Bette Davis was right when she once observed that old age is not for sissies. In this production, a daffy musical comedy—and a vivid world that reconstitutes whenever a phonograph record plays—provides an aging man with hidden, formidable resources. Hushion and Aiken find the heart in The Drowsy Chaperone. I’m pleased to report that its pulse is still quite strong.
The entire review is long and detailed. Please visit the site and give some props to the review and reviewer.
You can see the entire article at INDY