The Drowsy Chaperone: Song List
Auditions for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will take place July 10th and 11th.
Director: Marilyn Langbehn, Choreographer: Suzanne Brandt and Musical Director: G. Scott Lacy
- Saturday, July 10: 11AM-3PM
- Sunday, July 11: 1-9PM
- Saturday, July 10: 2PM
- Sunday, July 11: 1 & 4PM
(please bring both character and tap shoes)
- Monday, July 12: 6-10:30PM
- Tuesday, July 13: 5:30-10:30PM (Dance Callbacks 5:30-7:30PM)
If you would like to audition, please send an email to: email@example.com with the following information:
- Your preferred time slot
- Your Name
- Phone Number
We will call you back ONLY if the time you have chosen is full. Please arrive 15 minutes before your time slot. Prepare 32 bars from classic Broadway. Please bring sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided.
Please note: There are NO Actor’s Equity contracts for this show, however a travel stipend will be provided.
Rehearsals start October 16th. Show dates are 11/26-12/12, 2010 at The Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
All auditions are held at our studios, “The Firehouse” located at: 1948 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Do NOT use Mapquest for directions. See MAP here.
Going ‘Into the Woods’ and out again
By: Janos Gereben
Publication: S. F. Examiner. Reviewer: Janos Gereben
June 10, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Sondheim’s great fractured fairy tale-themed musical has giants, princes, an insatiable wolf, an invisible dwarf and a bipolar witch — for starters.
As if that’s not enough, the opening performance of the Diablo Theatre Company’s “Into the Woods” Friday also featured gremlins aplenty and an accident that would have stopped a lesser company.
“This is an opening night you will never forget,” the troupe’s artistic director Daren Carollo told the audience during intermission.
The show’s setting in an orphanage is director Ryan Mark Weible’s modification of the work, with Sondheim’s permission.
Instead of telling the story to the audience, as in the original, Diablo’s brilliant Joel Roster as the Narrator regales preteens in the orphanage with the tales, and the young ones sing and act with the cast judiciously, adding to the play.
The gremlins first came in the sound system. Hisses, pops and strange noises occasionally took away from outstanding vocal performances by Jessica Fisher as the Baker’s Wife, Molly Kruse as Cinderella, Tracy Chiappone as the Witch, Jessica Knudsen as Rapunzel and Alex Rodriguez and Danny Cozart as the two Princes; Rodriguez also played the Wolf.
Steve Rhyne, the Baker, either had the correct microphone setting or he is just that good; electronics didn’t interfere with a winning performance.
The other gremlin (a first for me in decades of attending theater) was when the tiny, big-voiced Little Red Ridinghood (Melody Perera, Sri Lanka’s gift to the stage) didn’t show up for her scene with Jack of the Beanstalk (Tony Conaty).
She might have been a couple of minutes late, but it seemed an eternity. Yet Roster turned it into a hilarious scene of improvisation.
Then came the accident. Jack DeRieux, a retired drama teacher in the role of the Mysterious Man, tried to squeeze through the set, and it collapsed, burying him under the rubble.
During a great collective gasp, an actor and a stagehand carried DeRieux offstage. Other than one of DeRieux’s lines, nothing was missed; the play continued.
About 10 minutes later, when the Mysterious Man had another appearance, DeRieux actually hobbled in and — after a round of applause — delivered his line.
At intermission, DeRieux was taken to the hospital (no broken bones were found) and Carollo delivered his remarks. In the second act, the indefatigable Roster took on DeRieux’s role, changing back and forth almost as much as the Witch.
Through it all, fighting electronics heroically, music director Cheryl Yee Glass’ 11-piece band delivered an admirable performance.Leave a Comment
CURTAIN CALLS: SALLY HOGARTY
By Sally Hogarty, Columnist
Excerpt for “Into the Woods”
According to James Lapine’s fractured fairy tale “Into the Woods,” anything can happen when you venture off the path. Prince Charming can lose his charm, Little Red Riding Hood can lose her way and, as was evident at Diablo Theatre Company’s opening night, mishaps can ensue.
Kudos to Diablo for attempting a very creative re-imagined look at the popular musical, moving it from the woods to an orphanage where the narrator (the multitalented Joel Roster) is reading the fairy tale to the children.
As he reads, the characters in the tale appear and, to the narrator’s dismay, begin interacting with the narrator as well as the children. It’s a very clever adaptation with a wonderful set (Mark Mendelson) and great costumes (Carol Edlinger), but it’s also a very ambitious undertaking with hundreds of sound and light cues.
On opening night, unfortunately, many of these cues were missed or came very late resulting in uneven pacing, actors performing in the dark and, in one instance, an actor being injured on stage. Luckily, the actor (Jack DeRieux) was not seriously hurt but was sent to the hospital as a precaution with Joel Roster taking over the role in Act II with impressive results.
In fact, while one technical glitch after another slowed the production, the actors managed to keep their focus and turn in marvelous performances, especially Jessica Fisher (Baker’s Wife) whose dynamic voice allowed her to be heard despite problems with her cordless microphone.
Fisher, along with Steve Rhyne (Baker) and Roster, not only performed their roles beautifully, they also managed to ad-lib and keep the action moving when other actors missed entrances or various props/set pieces did not function properly.
Hopefully, the company will get the technical aspects of the show up to the same caliber as the performances. “Into the Woods” continues through June 20. Call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469).Leave a Comment
“Proof” and “Into the Woods”
By: Charles Jarrett
Publication: Rossmoor News
June 9, 2010
Two Well-Crafted Productions in Local Community Theaters
Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette is presenting a thought-provoking mystery, “Proof,” and the Diablo Theatre Company in Walnut Creek is presenting a fresh, new vision of the classic musical comedy, “Into the Woods.” Both productions are exceptionally well crafted, with outstanding direction, casting and set design.
“Into the Woods”
In 1987, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine took Broadway by storm as they re-envisioned our beloved childhood classic fairytales by creating a musical that imbued several of them with a modern twist. What if Prince Charming turned out to be a two-timing cad who cheated on his Cinderella? What if Rapunzel had been so sequestered from real life by her overprotective mother that she would never make a compatible partner in marriage? What if Little Red Riding Hood turned out to be a sanguinary, self-serving kid?
The winner of best actress in a musical, Joanna Gleason, who played the Baker’s wife in the Broadway production, has come forward to participate in a totally re-envisioned version of this terrific musical by Director Ryan Weible, which opened this past week in the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
I have always loved the original musical version, which was set in a magical kingdom in which all of these fairytale characters lived as neighbors in a village next to the magical and mysterious woods, wherein the actions of one set of characters from one fairytale, directly affect the lives of the other fairy tale characters.
In this telling of the story, the setting starts out as an orphanage, where a group of children gather around a “narrator” (Joel Roster). As he engages them in bedtime reading of fairytales, the characters emerge out of the woodwork, walls, floors and toy boxes. Not only do fairytale characters emerge to take part in the story, but even the children become integrated into each tale, supplementing characters as needed. What is so delightful is that similar to Peter Pan, which brings the Darling children into the fairytale, this retelling of the story incorporates the orphanage children into the fabric of the tale as well.
Weible has selected a terrific and diverse cast of professional and amateur, seasoned and nearly neophyte actors, who enrich this production with their exquisite voices and vibrant heartfelt performances. With 22 performers, each a jewel in this crowning achievement, there are far too many to give each his or her due.
Gleason participates in this production only as the menacing voice of the Giant (from the Jack and the Beanstalk tale) who ultimately threatens all the characters’ lives. Steve Rhyne and Jessica Fisher are absolutely terrific as the Baker and his wife. Tracy Chiappone is outstanding as the Wicked Witch, as is Molly Kruse as Cinderella, both blessed with exquisite singing voices. Alex Rodriguez plays two roles exceedingly well, the wolf and Rapunzel’s Prince. Melody Perera is a precocious little Red Riding Hood. Jessica Knudsen is very good as Rapunzel and Jeanine Louise Perasso is memorable as Jack’s frustrated mother.
I have to give special kudos to Roster (the narrator), who stepped in at the last minute to play the Mysterious Man in the second act and who also covered very well what appeared to be a couple of other actors’ missed cues.
This is an extremely complicated production with a beautiful, albeit complicated and unique set (designed by Mark Mendelson) that presented several challenges to the actors during the opening performance. This new vision for telling the tale of “Into the Woods” is a brilliant concept and while I will always enjoy the original version, this one provides a delightfully new way to enjoy the great music, songs and story.
I think you will love this newly envisioned version of “Into the Woods,” which runs through June 20. Tickets can be reserved by phone by calling 943-7469 or purchased online atwww.lesherartscenter.org.Leave a Comment
Posting Date: June 8, 2010
Title: Into the Woods
Review by Linda Hodges for Broadway World magazine , June 2010
It would seem a foregone conclusion that the Sondheim, Lapine classic called “Into the Woods,” currently being performed by the Diablo Theater Company, would feature “the woods” as part and parcel of the show. Yet in this daringly marvelous telling, director Ryan Weible not only conjures up an entire forest but also a baker’s house, a poor boy’s abode, various and sundry castles – and a giant – all within the confines of a 1930’s era orphanage. The show’s song, “Children Will Listen” is realized through the addition of the orphans sitting and listening to the story. It’s the perfect setting and seems stunningly obvious as backdrop and enhancement once you see it. It is absolute genius. Weible has given us a refreshingly new context, stretching the concept of the show, all the while maintaining, with absolute discipline, the original intent of the creators.
He is helped by the inventive talents of lighting designer David Lam who gives us the suggestion of a dark forest in the shadowy effect he creates on the walls of the orphanage, which seem much more menacing than the standard paper maché or hand-painted trees used in other productions. Lightning bolts and other special effects are spectacular.
Lam must have worked hand-in-hand with projection designer Adam Flemming who scatters glittering stars and soft-falling rain through the sky that can be seen through the three big windows of the orphanage. A magical fireplace projection of fire that conjures up characters is a nice touch. Children’s handprints that first appear in a construction paper project over the fireplace multiply off the page and across the walls of the stage infusing Lam’s set with whimsy and wonder. We are magically transported into the world of imagination.
In Weible’s hands the narrator is transformed into a kindly headmaster (played nicely by Joel Roster) who seeks to put the new orphans at ease by telling them tales by the fire. As the children relax and become absorbed in the story, their imaginations transform their surroundings, taking the audience into the woods without ever leaving the room.
The child actors do a find job here but the deliberate desire not to add one extra word to the original Lapine book makes for an awkwardly mimed entrance of the orphans before the narrator begins with the familiar “Once Upon a Time.”
But this is no ordinary tale. The headmaster has woven together familiar characters from the books of the Brothers Grimm and each of them is intent on their own storyline heedless of where their wishes will take them or what it will do to the others.
Into the woods they go leaving behind what they know in order to pursue what they think they want, and it is there in the woods that characters will collide, choices will need to be made and hasty decisions eventually lived with.
Cinderella wishes to go the King’s festival, there to meet the prince. Rapunzel longs to explore the world outside her castle tower. Red Riding Hood wishes to visit her grandmother but must outsmart a wolf along the way, while simple Jack and his truculent mother wish for plenty, but all they are left with is beans. The witch longs for beauty. There are also two Prince Charmings who each agonize over the difficulties of winning the hands of the women they love. The prologue’s “I Wish” theme introduces the characters, with Weible artfully assigning some of the lines to the children, the intent being to show how children internalize the stories they hear, making them their own to learn and grow from.
The baker and his wife are new additions to the Grimm catalog, but their barrenness is a familiar theme in the fairytale world and it will be their plight that stitches together the disparate tales of the others.
Their desire for a child forces them into the woods. There they must reverse a witch’s curse brought on by the baker’s father, long dead, or so we are lead to believe.
“Go to the wood and bring me back: One: the cow as white as milk, Two: The cape as red as blood, Three: The hair as yellow as corn, Four: The slipper as pure as gold,” cackles the witch as the couple argues as to whether the baker should go alone or with his wife in pursuit of the asked for items.
Jessica Fisher grounds the production as the baker’s wife, dialing up and down pragmatic intent or compassionate wisdom with adroitness and subtlety to superb effect. Her dynamically strong vocals are powerfully evocative, yet in tender, or unexpected moments that happen in the woods, her singing is nuanced with sweetness, questioning and self-reflection. Molly Kruse (Cinderella) and Tracy Chiapponne (the witch) also lend their singing prowess to the show.
Steve Rhyne is excellent as the baker whose turn in the woods makes him one of the characters that learns and grows from his decisions and mistakes.
Another nod must be given to Melody Perera who is spot on brilliant as the naïve, yet once threatened, fearless, little Red Riding Hood who trades in her red cape for a stole made from the wolf who tried to eat her granny. Her initial scene with the ravenous wolf (a tough and toned Alex Rodriguez who also plays one of the princes) is perfectly suited to a production whose premise is a child’s perspective of life. The sexuality that can be seen in other productions is absent here but adults will catch the intent.
As the characters rush headlong into the woods they each sing, “Into the woods to get my wish, I don’t care how, the time is now…” and indeed, by the end of Act I they each compromise themselves, acknowledging in Act II that they’ve “told a little lie, stole a little gold, broke a little vow…” all to get what they wanted.
But Act I ends on a happily-ever-after note and it’s rumored that when the show premiered in 1987 Sondheim had to usher patrons back into the theater because they thought it was over. True, everything you know is tied up with a nice little fairytale bow – but Act II seeks to settle the score. The unintended consequences of individual greed, treating others like pawns, as well as downright thievery and murderous acts (a giant is killed), catch up with the characters who must now bear the burden of their actions.
They are faced with disillusionment and despair, coupled with fear, as the giant’s wife (voiced by Joanna Gleason, who played the baker’s wife in the original) demands revenge. She wants the boy, Jack, who hacked away at the beanstalk after he stole the harp and the hen, but his mother has hidden him away.
Thrown into chaos the characters suddenly turn their attention to the narrator/headmaster and thrust him toward the giant hoping to appease her. He’s the outsider here – the one who has altered their fairytale fantasies. He argues that without him they won’t know how the story ends but they take their chances and give him to the giant who kills him but still wants Jack.
With the teller of the tale gone, they are in a quandary as to how to get out of the woods. Making the right decisions isn’t as easy as they thought. As more carnage erupts around them, they find that by joining forces and working together they can overcome their fears and make better decisions to help get them out of the woods.
“Into the Woods” is a multi-layered and subconsciously deep undertaking brought to glorious life with imagination and moxie by the creative team at Diablo Theater Company. Artistic director Daren Carollo, the actors and his production staff have boldly, yet reverently, pushed the envelope by reimaging this classic Broadway musical. Scenic designer Mark Mendelson must have had a wonderful time creating the set replete with trap doors, magic wardrobes, escapes, and a miniature house. Debbie Shelley (properties manager) may want to rethink feeding the cow through its back since it’s supposed to be a real cow. There were sound problems at several points and of course the show itself has the inherent Sondheim signature “un-hummable” quality to it. His work is characterized more by speech patterns than by a desire to suffuse the show with melodic hooks. Sondheim can be an acquired taste, but certainly one worth attaining.
Director Ryan Weible’s new context highlights the theme that children are indeed listening…and learning so “careful the tales you tell.” I have no doubt that DTC’s version will be enjoyed by Sondheim aficionados and newcomers alike.
“Into the Woods” plays June 4-20 at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA.
For information and tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (7469) or visit www.lesherartscenter.org.Leave a Comment
Come celebrate Sondheim’s birthday at this special pre-show event on June 5th at the Lesher Center for the Arts. This look into the genius behind the musical will feature Sondheim expert and lecturer, Marcus Klinger, who will discuss INTO THE WOODS and the secret messages Sondheim has hidden in the show. Also our director, Ryan Mark Weible, will share his take on the show and why INTO THE WOODS ended up in an orphanage.
Present a ticket for any INTO THE WOODS performance to attend.Leave a Comment
Join us for a special one act family matinee June 12th at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Children will get a chance to meet their favorite Fairy Tale characters and then enjoy Act 1 of INTO THE WOODS.
Special priced tickets (Adults $20 and Children $10) can be purchased through the Lesher box office by calling (925) 943-7469 or click here to buy tickets online.Leave a Comment
You’re invited to become an Into the Woods “Executive Producer” and sponsor the production member or character of your choice. In recognition of your sponsorship you will receive a number of special acknowledgements including an invitation to an exclusive pre-show reception, a backstage tour and photo op. Different sponsorship levels are available and any amount is welcome. For more information view our brochure [PDF] or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Leave a Comment
The Drowsy Chaperone pays homage to American musicals of the Jazz Age, examining the effect musicals have on the fans who adore them.
The Man in Chair, a mousy, agoraphobic Broadway fanatic, seeking a cure for his “nonspecific sadness”, listens to a recording of a fictional 1928 musical comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As he listens to this rare recording, he is transported into the musical and the characters appear in his dingy apartment which is transformed into an impressive Broadway set with seashell footlights, sparkling furniture, painted backdrops, and glitzy costumes.
The Broadway production opened in May 2006 at the Marquis Theatre and closed in December 2007 after 674 performances and 32 previews. It won six 2006 awards including: Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Book and Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Music, Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Book.
Director: Daren A.C. Carollo
Choreographer: Sheri Stockdale
Musical Director: G. Scott Lacy
The Drowsy Chaperone is appropriate for ages 6 and up. The show is approximately 98 minutes with no intermission.Leave a Comment
- Overture – Orchestra
- Fancy Dress – Company
- Cold Feets – Robert, George
- Show Off – Janet, Company
- As We Stumble Along – Drowsy Chaperone
- I Am Aldolpho – Aldolpho, Drowsy Chaperone
- Accident Waiting To Happen – Robert, Janet
- Toledo Surprise – Gangsters, Feldzieg, Kitty, Mrs. Tottendale and Company
- Message From A Nightingale – Kitty, Gangsters, Aldolpho, Drowsy Chaperone
- Bride’s Lament – Janet, Company
- Love is Always Lovely In The End – Mrs. Tottendale, Underling
- I Do, I Do In The Sky – Trix, Company
- As We Stumble Along (Reprise) – Company