The Drowsy Chaperone
is a musical which opened on Broadway in 2006, described by the Tag Line
as "a musical within a comedy
". The frame story is about a lonely man named..."Man In Chair
", who lives alone with his record collection. One day he feels blue, and so puts on a record from the 1920s - The Drowsy Chaperone
. The majority of the musical is the record itself, with comments interjected now and then from the Man to...somebody.
The story of The Drowsy Chaperone
is about the wedding of Janet van der Graaff and Robert Martin. Janet has doubts about her feelings towards her fiancee, and when she comes across Robert conveniently blindfolded, she pretends to be a French woman
and seduces him into kissing her. Of course, Hilarity Ensues
as she confronts him about this kissing. Along the way, various other characters end up with marriages that they may or may not want
, forcing best man George to arrange four marriages when he had originally only planned on one. Then a plane flies in, and they all get married and go to Rio!
...It Makes Sense in Context
. Sort of
For a more detailed plot, see The Drowsy Chaperone
's page on The Other Wiki
As a result of its premise, Drowsy Chaperone
has more Lampshade Hanging
than a hardware store, usually (but not always) provided by the Man In Chair.
This show provides examples of:
- Accidental Innuendo: The Man in Chair asks if anyone had noticed the sexual implications of the song "Love is Always Lovely in the End."
- Accidental Misnaming: The Chaperone initially calls Aldolpho "Adollface".
- Affectionate Parody: Of the Jazz Age, and musicals in general.
- All Musicals Are Adaptations: In-universe. The booklet in the CD case for the recording mentions that the show is based off of a short story called Honeymoonin' To Do.
- Ambiguously Gay: The Man in Chair. He lampshades it several times.
- Though some productions play him as merely metrosexual.
- Analogy Backfire: the song "Love Is Always Lovely in the End", in which the singer, Mrs. Tottendale, is blissfully oblivious to the fact that every couple she mentions in the song (Romeo and Juliet, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Samson and Delilah) had an unhappy ending. Underling tries to point this out to her, to no avail.
- Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: The Chaperone during "I Am Aldolpho."
- Asian Speekee Engrish: There's an entire joke about a "rady" and a man.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: The Musical!
- Big "WHAT?!": Aldolfo. What?
- Brick Joke: Man in Chair mentions that Tottendale's actress is named Ukelele Lil, "although she never plays the ukelele in this show". Of course, during the Finale, she accompanies him on ukelele.
- BSOD Song: 'Bride's Lament'.
- Busby Berkeley Number: 'The Bride's Lament', according to the Man in Chair, is "a little Busby Berkeley, a little Jane Goodall."
- But He Sounds Handsome: "Robert kissed a French girl. Her name is Mimi. She's very beautiful."
- Cape Swish: Aldolpho does this. A lot.
- Character Blog: During the Broadway run, the Man in Chair posted a series of videos wandering around Times Square, commenting about theatre.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Trix, who sings in the opening "I'll see you when they tie the knot!" She then reappears at the end of the play right when the cast realizes they need a minister, and marries all four couples.
- Dark Reprise: Act I ends with a depressing rendition of the "Wedding Bells" motif. The second act's actual opening number "The Bride's Lament" incorporates fragments of "Show Off" with all of the tongue-in-cheek humor removed.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Chaperone, Underling, Feldzeig, and Man in Chair all fit this trope at one time or another.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Hoo boy, Message From A Nightingale.
- The Ditz: Both Kitty and Miss Tottendale.
- The Family for the Whole Family: It's hard to take the gangsters seriously when their "weapons" are cooking utensils and everything they say is a pun.
- Final Love Duet: Played with in that it doesn't actually end the musical at all, but instead creates the central conflict, but other than that, "Accident Waiting to Happen" fits this trope to a T. Also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Fourth Date Marriage: Janet and Robert, to the point where "fourth date" might be an overstatement...
- Not to mention Aldolpho and the Chaperone, Feldzieg and Kitty, and Mrs. Tottendale and Underling, all of whom got married immediately without dating at all.
- Funny Foreigner: Aldolpho.
- Genre Savvy: Man In Chair.
- Have a Gay Old Time: Used a lot, intentionally. Lampshaded by the Man In Chair who says the word "has a different meaning now, but back then it just meant fun."
- High Hopes, Zero Talent: Kitty desperately wants to replace Janet, despite her complete lack of talent and very low intelligence.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In the opening monologue, Man In Chair mentions that he hates when musicals break the fourth wall. Guess what the entire point of the show is.
- Man In Chair keeps telling the audience to "keep the magic alive" when something interrupts the play. Even if he's the one interrupting.
- 'Show Off': Janet spends the entire song showing off to her fans and the audience, complete with an encore, while singing about how she's leaving show business.
- In the intermission monologue the Man In Chair delivers, he complains about people opening crinkly candy wrappers. He then proceeds to open and eat a protein bar.
- Hypocritical Song: "Show Off", complete with encore.
- I Am Great Song: "Aldolpho", about guess who.
- I Am Song: 'I Am Aldolpho' - hard to get clearer than that.
- Irrelevant Act Opener: Justified in the case of 'Message From A Nightingale', as Man In Chair accidentally put the wrong record on.
- The Jeeves: Underling.
- Just for Pun: Pretty much the existence of the two Gangsters.
- Lady Drunk: The titular Chaperone.
- Large Ham: Aldolpho, and by extension, his actor.
- Last Minute Hookup: All of the characters, including Pair the Spares.
- Latin Lover: Aldolpho thinks he's this, but in reality he's more of a Casanova Wannabe.
- Lemony Narrator: The Man in Chair, in spades.
- Let's Duet: "Cold Feet" between the groom and George, containing some call and response to introduce George; and "Accident Waiting to Happen" between the bride and groom, using many elements of the Final Love Duet.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: A blackout happens right before the last note of 'I Do, I Do, In the Sky'.
- Married at Sea: Parodied. In the finale, the cast decides that the captain of an airship can marry people, as they forgot a minister.
- The Mel Brooks Number: "Bride's Lament". Lampshaded by Man in Chair, who is acutely aware that the song wasn't intended to be funny, and tells the audience to "just ignore the lyrics."
- Mood Whiplash: There are a number of funny or touching scenes interrupted by the Man in Chair giving a glimpse into his (rather sad) backstory. The biggest by far is the rather funny scene where Drowsy is telling Janet to "L-ve while you can." While Man In Chair's accompanying monologue has some funny lines, it is on the whole rather sad.
- Most Definitely Not a Villain: The gangsters, who are introduced with the lines, "We're pastry chefs! / We're pastry chefs! / We cross our hearts we're pastry chefs!"
- Musicalis Interruptus: The Man in Chair's phone rings, interrupting George's tap dance going into the next scene.
- Narm: Played with in-universe in "Bride's Lament". As The Man in the Chair says, "Try to ignore the lyrics." They're about...monkeys. Yeah.
- Considering the way he sings along to this song, though, he may have come to see them as Narm Charm, especially considering his backstory.
- No Fourth Wall
- No Name Given: The Man in Chair, the Drowsy Chaperone, Underling, the Superintendent, and the Gangsters.
- Nostalgia Filter: The way the Man In Chair views the 1920s.
- Only Sane Man: Underling.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: The beginning of the second act.
- Pungeon Master: When it comes to this trope, the gangsters really take the cake! ...I'm so sorry.
- Porn Without Plot: Invoked by Man In Chair, who notes that in both musicals and pornography, the plot is often secondary to the..."production numbers."
- Show Within a Show
- Silly Love Songs: 'Love is Always Lovely in the End'.
- Spit Take: One scene consists of nothing but spit takes. Poor Underling!
- Stocking Filler: The Chaperone, usually.
- Superfluous Solo: Parodied with "As We Stumble Along", which the Man in Chair claims was only included to appease the actress playing the Chaperone.
- Take That: Near the end, when the Superintendent calls himself a fan of musicals but is only familiar with contemporary big-budget titles.
Superintendent: Yeah, I've seen 'em all. I've seen Cats, Les Miz, Saturday Night Fever—I liked the movie better—
Man in Chair: Really. Well, goodbye. (He shuts the door in his face.)
- Tempting Fate: After 'Show Off' "ends".
Kitty: I'm surprised she didn't do an encore.
Janet: I don't want an encore no more!
- Too Dumb to Live: George stops Robert from tap dancing because he could sprain his ankle. Instead he tells him to go rollerblading. Blindfolded.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Janet is getting cold feet about her wedding, so she decides to go see whether or not Robert really loves her. He's conveniently blindfolded, so she pretends to be a random French woman named Mimi and asks about how they first met. They both get caught up in reliving the moment and kiss, only for Janet to remember what she's doing and call off the wedding.
- Weddings for Everyone: How the Show Within a Show ends.
- What Are Records?: Man in Chair seems to be anticipating this reaction from his audience when he explains he was listening to his records—yes, records.