Shows D

questions: Won't she regret leaving Show Business for a man she barely knows? Janet, with the requisite plate-spinning, hoopjumping and one-handed cart-wheeling, rebuffs the suggestion. Desperate to stave off the impending nuptials, Feldzieg seeks an accomplice in self-described Latin Lothario Aldolpho. Goading Aldolpho by alleging that the Groom is slandering him, Feldzieg slyly suggests that the hot-headed Spaniard settle the score by seducing the Bride. Aldolpho sets off to exact his revenge. We shift now to Man In Chair's least favourite — "The Spit-take scene" — wherein Mrs. Tottendale, instructing Underling on Prohibition code words, ends up drenching the poor serf in half-swilled vodka instead. Meanwhile, Janet expresses her misgivings to the Chaperone: is Robert in love with Janet, the girl, or with Janet Van De Graaff, Glamorous Broadway Star? After the Chaperone sings what Man In Chair calls "Basically … a rousing anthem about alcoholism", the Chaperone, claiming "Drowsiness," sends the wary bride off to find Robert and ask him "the one question upon which [her] future happiness depends: 'Roger, Do you love me?" Janet — correcting her — leaves the place alone for the grand entrance of Aldolpho. Seeing the Chaperone, Aldolpho mistakenly assumes she is the one upon whom he is meant to practice his legendary lovemaking skills. Surprisingly, the Chaperone throws herself into his arms. The King of Romance, not one to trade the thrill of the chase for the object of the hunt, holds the Chaperone at bay. Into the garden, blindfolded and on roller skates, glides a blissfully unaware Robert. Janet follows, disguising herself as "Mimi," a mysterious French girl. Caught up in the memory of his first meeting with Janet, which he recounts as they skate a pas-de-deux, Robert and "Mimi" share a kiss … but Janet, realising, slaps the befuddled swain and dashes away, in tears. Feldzieg paces. He's about to lose his leading lady — and the use of his kneecaps — for sure. Kitty volunteers to replace his star with her mind-reading act: "Kitty, The Incomprehensible." But when the Pastry Chefs arrive, Feldzieg throws them off the scent by combining their sense of rhythm with their weakness for cooking metaphors! Aldolpho enters to announce: The wedding is off! He has made love to the Bride, indicating — the Chaperone! The room exhales. The wedding is on."The wedding is off!" The speaker is Janet herself. "Robert kissed a French girl. Her name is Mimi. She's very beautiful." Robert pleads: "I couldn't help it, Janet! She was just like you — only French!" As the Ensemble sings a reprise of despair, Janet and Robert's dreams lie in tatters, and … The curtain falls on act I. It is now Intermission. Or, at least it would be — if we were sitting at the Morosco theatre in 1928, watching The Drowsy Chaperone …Which, of course, we are not. The Man crosses before the closed curtain and eats a power bar, musing about his own wedding. "Are you surprised to hear I was married? Well … " And now he has to go and take a comfort break. While he's gone — we can listen to the opening of Act II. The Man has left us alone to witness a catastrophic mistake he has made — which owes to a snafu from his once-monthly housekeeper, whose penchant for touching the Man's records now bears its strange, Oriental fruit. A quick change of LPs' and the second act of The Drowsy Chaperone is under way. A depressed Janet sings longingly. The song devolves into a Mad Scene, as the tormented Bride is torn between her "Life of Glamour" and a future with Robert. Meanwhile, as Mrs. Tottendale and Underling muse about the history of love their observations cast their own magic spell ... which is nearly ruined by Man In Chair's phone ringing again. This time he simply rips the machine out of the wall. As the recording spins toward its conclusion, the Chaperone and Mrs. Tottendale reveal that they are to be married to Aldolpho and Underling, respectively. George nearly blows a gasket: "Everybody's getting married except the bride and groom!" Janet turns for advice to her beloved Chaperone. "Should I marry Robert?" Man In Chair turns to us: "Here it comes — the moment that has fascinated me more than any other."