Moab autumns bring cool weather, changing leaves and Grand County High School’s musical.
This year’s musical is “The Drowsy Chaperone” to be performed 7 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21, 22 and 23 at the Grand County High School auditorium.
The high school’s student body president, Brendon Henderson, stars in the play as Man in Chair.
Man in Chair reminisces to the audience about his favorite play, “The Drowsy Chaperone”, set in the 1920s.
The musical unfolds in his living room as he tells the story of Janet van de Graaff, played by Becca Farnsworth, a senior.
Van de Graaff is a Broadway star who wants to leave the stage in order to be with her true love, Robert, played by Adam Jenkinson, a senior.
“All of the foolishness is centered around trying to get these two people married,” said Maralee Francis, the director and the high school’s drama adviser.
This is most definitely a comedy, and come expecting a lot of tap-dancing.
This musical was chosen after the drama team saw it performed at Theater Conference last spring.
“We fell in love,” Francis said.
The play also has an abundance of lead roles, which would be necessary for this year’s junior and senior classes because they have priority for big parts.
“I knew that a lot of them would be participating,” Francis said.
The cast and crew has been working on the musical since September. Most of the work has been done and now they are working on fine-tuning the details.
Sets are built, painted and erected. Malfunctioning stage lights forced the cast to work in a classroom not meant to accommodate play rehearsals.
This hasn’t stopped its progress, though, Henderson said. He has been preparing for this role since last July.
“I really want to make the audience believe that it’s Man in Chair on stage,” he said. “Not just Brendon in a sweater.”
His favorite part of this musical is that it’s “ridiculous and random.”
It’s also the first play the school has put on that doesn’t have a movie version. He likes the freedom it gives everyone to do what they want with their characters.
“Every role is perfect. This play is just perfect for this year’s cast,” Farnsworth said. “It’s so dramatic and funny. I’m constantly laughing at practices.”
She has participated in the musicals every year and considers theater her “sport.” The character she plays is extremely dramatic, as is expected from a Broadway star. Conveying this show-off personality has been the biggest challenge for Farnsworth, since she’s not like that naturally.
“I’m really nervous for my biggest song. It’s where I have to be the most big and dramatic,” Farnsworth said.
This “musical within a comedy” is family friendly.
“It’s just a really feel-good production. You won’t be able to stop laughing,” Farnsworth said.
Francis encourages the community to support Grand County High School’s theater program by attending one of the three performances.
“I guarantee you’ll love it,” Francis said.