Hill-Murray students bring a unique musical comedy to life

This spring, May 5 through 14, Hill-Murray is bringing something special to its stage. High school students will be performing “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a 1920s musical within a modern comedy. Director Ben Ballentine said that the stand-out feature of this production is that it is really a parody of a musical.

The performance begins with “The Man in the Chair” who takes the audience on a journey listening to his favorite musical, the fictional 1920s production “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As the audience listens to the music, the characters suddenly spring to action bringing the musical to life on stage.

Ballentine said that although many people may not have heard of this production before, it is worth attending.

“It’s hilarious. Your whole family will love it,” Ballentine said. “And there’s tap dancing!” 

The lively music and comedy are complemented by dapper costumes inspired by the Roaring ‘20s.

Costume designer Suzanna Schneider is “brilliant and she always makes our kids look amazing,” Ballentine said and added that these costumes are especially fun because he believes the 1920s was America’s most fashionable decade.

Ballentine choose “The Drowsy Chaperone” as this year’s spring musical because this year’s senior class has many talented theater students, and he wanted a show with many feature roles “so everyone can have a moment.” 

“Most musicals have four leads and a couple supporting roles. “The Drowsy Chaperone” has 14 roles, and we even added a couple to our intermission sketch,” he added. 

Approximately 50 students are involved with this production. That includes cast, tech crew, costume crew, set build and prop masters. Ballentine added that in “The Drowsy Chaperone” every grade was able to be represented in the featured roles.

Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays in the Hill-Murray School Auditorium, 2625 Larpenteur Ave. E., Maplewood. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $5 for students and can be purchased online by visiting www.hill-murray.org/theatre or by calling 651-748-2417. There is also a free senior citizen preview on May 4 at 7 p.m.

 

—Aundrea Kinney

 

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