The Drowsy Chaperone is a show-within-a-show narrated by an unnamed man in a chair who takes the audience back in time has he recalls his favorite 1920s musical entitled – you guessed it – The Drowsy Chaperone. The Farmington Players production of Drowsy runs April 26 – May 18 at the Barn Theater.
Like many musicals, Drowsy involves larger than life lead characters and a small ensemble that sings, dances, and portrays multiple supporting roles. In the Barn’s production, ensemble member Madeleine Bien plays such diverse characters as a maid, a monkey, and an aviatrix's assistant. As Madeleine says, “Since the characters are already inherently different, it's pretty easy to jump from one to the other.”
In Drowsy, one of the lead characters Janet is struggling to decide whether she wants to leave the stage with all its fame and fortune for a husband she just met. She even loses her mind over it at one point in the show. Madeleine can relate to certain aspects of this struggle. As she says, “It's extremely relatable for me as I've often considered the very same thing, whether I wanted to make a career out of my passion for the stage or give that up to focus on starting a family. Fortunately, it's not as black-and-white as that. Many of us in the cast have families of our own and are able to maintain the busy rehearsal schedule that the show requires while still keeping up with everything at home. It certainly speaks to the devotion of the cast and their ability to put on an amazing show despite having many other things to juggle in ‘real life’.”
Madeleine knows that audiences will love Drowsy because of “The TALENT. The comedy, the timing, the music, the people. There's something for everyone in this musical.” She fell in love with this story because of the comedy and the music, saying, “I have a huge appreciation for musicals that can make me laugh (like, really laugh, not just chuckle), with music you can belt to, all topped off with a big crazy dance number!”
Madeleine hails from Southfield and studied theater at Wayne State University in Detroit before transferring to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo to major in French. She has organized an improv Meetup, a French Meetup, and an A-Capella quartet. She works at Volkswagen Group of America. Madeleine says, “The cast of this show always finds a way to make me laugh, on or off stage. They are a phenomenal bunch of people that I hope to have the pleasure of working with again in more shows to come. Cynthia Tupper, our director, is fantastic, and finds unique ways of pulling the show together to make it an unforgettable musical.”
The Drowsy Chaperone has 12 performances at the Farmington Players Barn Theater from April 26 – May 18. The show is proudly sponsored by Tru-Vista Wealth Advisors. Tickets are available online at farmingtonplayers.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Barn box office at 248-553-2955.