Dinner theater to present ’20s-era musical comedy

Jackson County Community Theatre’s annual dinner theater will be Feb. 13, 14, 20 and 21 at The Pines Evergreen Room on U.S. 31 south of Seymour.

This year’s show is the romantic comedy musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Winner of five Tony Awards, the show pays tribute to the jazz age shows of the 1920s.

A diehard musical theater fan begins the show by playing his favorite record on his turntable, a fictitious 1928 musical, according to a news release. The music bursts to life in his living room. A glamorous and hilarious tale ensues, with a reluctant bride, a groom on skates, a tap-dancing best man, a womanizer, gangsters posing as pastry chefs and an intoxicated chaperone.

Music and lyrics were written by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, and the book is by Bob Martin and Don McKellar.

Darin Richart is directing the show, with assistance from pianist and musical director Georgianne Coons. Julie Bradley and Kathy Passereni are designing and constructing vintage costumes,assisted by Donna Fish, Dot Goodwin, Cindy Clacamp, Cari Hauersperger and Sarah McGill. Katrina Hardwick is choreographing dance numbers. Joel McGill, Joe Bradley and Joe Reynolds are designing the set.

Cast members are John Hiester as “Man in Chair,” the musical theater aficionado who guides the audience through his favorite show; Coons as the aging hostess Mrs. Tottendale, with Mike Seaney as her loyal assistant known only as Underling; Richart as the oil-tycoon bridegroom, Robert Martin; Afton Shepard as his prospective bride, the glamorous Broadway star Janet Van de Graaff; Job V. Willman as the best man, George; John Hardaway as Janet’s producer Feldzieg; Katrina Hardwick as the ditzy flapper Kitty, Janet’s rival actress; Laura Hauersperger and Aidan Hauersperger as the gangsters disguised as pastry chefs; Tom Franke as the Italian lover Adolpho; Kathy Nelson in the title role as the drowsy chaperone; Wanda Butler as Trix the Aviatrix; and Fred Lewis in a cameo role as the building superintendent.

Ensemble members, who appear as reporters, maids and even monkeys, are Kelli Klakamp, Kayla Green, Jessica Brown, Kristi Banister, Destiny Luttrell and Stevi Begley.

Seating for the dinner theater nights is by reservation only. Reservations can be made by calling 812-358-5228. This is a 24-hour line, so calls may be made any time. A JCCT representative will respond to calls to confirm reservations.

Serving begins at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Reservations are not needed or taken for a non-dinner matinee Feb. 15, which begins at 2:30 p.m. The matinee also will be conducted at the Evergreen Room. General admission tickets are available only at the door, and seating is on a first come-first served basis. The Pines Restaurant is offering a special discount for matinee patrons who wish to eat at the restaurant before or after the show Feb. 15.

More information can be found on the JCCT website, jcct.org.

Seymour Oktoberfest Committee is the annual sponsor of the dinner theater. The Jackson County Community Theatre 2014-15 season is supported by a grant from Arts Partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, Columbus Area Arts Council and Indiana Arts Commission.

Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.