Leavenworth's River City Community Players are spoofing classic musicals in their latest production.
The Tony-Award-winning "The Drowsy Chaperone," which opens Friday, begins with a lone musical fan explaining his love for one of the golden era's lost relics, "The Drowsy Chaperone."
The musical then unfolds onstage, breaking periodically for additional, sometimes acerbic, explanations from the reclusive man in the chair ― in this case portrayed by Kevin Albee ― at the side of the stage.
"It kind of makes fun of some of the stereotypes in musical theater," like the over-the-top ingenue played by Sarah DaMetz and sight gags common to productions from the era, said Director Tisha Entwistle.
However, Entwistle said that spoofing also serves to pay tribute to those classic musicals in a unique way. She said she worked on costumes when Lansing High School produced "The Drowsy Chaperone" last year, and knew she wanted to helm the RCCP version.
"I was very familiar with the show," Entwistle said. "I liked it so much. It's a really recent, fun show."
The RCCP production features a cast of seven, among them both veterans of the company and relative newcomers ranging from adults to high-school students. It's been good to work with such a diverse cast and crew, Entwistle said, adding that the ensemble has come together over weeks of rehearsal.
"I was really lucky because I did have some choices," she said. "Everybody is a named character ― they all have a song, they all have funny lines."
That said, the production hasn't been without its own challenges ― last week, the Leavenworth Performing Arts Center's air conditioning unit broke down, causing an evacuation as steam entered the theater where the RCCP rehearses.
But whether rehearsing impromptu at a church in the city or sticking it out in the hot performing arts center at the beginning of the week (the air conditioning has since been fixed), Entwistle said she has been proud of the dedication of her cast and crew.
"They sat down and got right to rehearsing," she said. "None of them ever complained to me."
The River City Community Players' production of "The Drowsy Chaperone" will open with a show at 8 p.m. Friday at the Leavenworth Performing Arts Center, Fifth and Delaware streets in Leavenworth. There will also be shows at 8 p.m. Saturday and on Aug. 2, 3, 9 and 10. There will be a matinee show at 2 p.m. Aug. 4. Tickets are available by calling 913-651-0027.