Meredith Reagan, Mt Notre Dame High School
From the beginning of the show, the Man in Chair, played by Eric Harrell, was a standout. He captivated the audience throughout the entire show, and portrayed his character so enthusiastically at every moment. His comedic timing and his quirkiness made him a likable character with whom it was easy to relate. Taylor McCord, who played Janet Van De Graaff, was another highlight of the show. She embodied the larger than life attitude of the character, and each song she sang was technically impressive and full of life. Kiefer Richardson as Robert Martin showed the character’s cluelessness throughout, evoking considerable amounts of laughter.
Jay Quitter, Elder and Seton High Schools
Providing some of the night’s strongest vocals was Jordyn Nelson playing the role of Trix the Aviatrix. Nelson made a grand entrance with the opening number. As soon as she opened her mouth, the audience was left with chills. Nelson was truly a force to be reckoned with on stage.
The choreography, lighting, and general acting were all of great quality. There were some sound issues with the microphones but the performers overcame this by not showing any of it in their performance and, in some instances, incorporating the fuzziness of the sound into their acting.
Greg Miller, Mt Notre Dame High School
At the end of the show, the Man in Chair says that a musical is supposed to, “take you to another world” and “give you a little tune to carry with you in your head.” The acting company did just that. For the most part, the performers displayed excellent energy in this zany show, with large musical numbers, tap dances and slapstick comedy galore. The company able to make viewers laugh uncontrollably, while also excelling at portraying more touching moments regarding the Man in Chair’s personal experiences and feelings.
Allison Camm, Highlands High School
Ryle High School’s production was rooted by well-developed characters whose intricacies not only drove the plot but also electrified the stage with every movement. Robust lead vocals also carried challenging musical numbers stunningly.
The set functioned effectively as both a quaint home for Man in Chair as well as a stage for the show-within-the-show. Homey embellishments, such as framed Broadway shadowboxes and dainty tea cups, helped characterize the lead as a quaint man stuck in old times, while the open floor plan allowed for large musical numbers unencumbered by large set pieces.
Holden Kelley, Elder and Seton High Schools
Adolpho, played by Jacob O’Brien, along with the Drowsy Chaperone herself, played by Abby Palen, brought excellent comedic relief to the already-funny plotline. Adolpho, the self-proclaimed ladies’ man from Spain, shone brightly in his duet with the Drowsy Chaperone, further stirring up the marriage conundrum. With his heavy accent and flamboyant mannerisms, O’Brien had the audience laughing every time he came on stage. The “stumbling and bumbling” of Abby Palen’s comedic tendencies added to the experience, and also gave an outstanding vocal performance during her piece of wedding advice to Janet, “Stumble Along.”
Hunter Thiers, Mariemont High School
Abby Palen, who played the Drowsy Chaperone, also supported her well, and had great vocal ability as well as great facial expression. Aldolpho, portrayed by Jacob O’Brien, was the perfect comic role for this production, keeping the audience laughing the entire time.
The ensemble in this production was also very funny. The Gangsters, portrayed by Ben Donaldson and Carson Trego, were perfect. Their bakery puns and accents added to the comedy of their characters and made them the perfect ensemble.
Cate Donahue, Mariemont High School
So much talent was showcased in this fast-paced and fun night. Eric Harrell brought brilliant energy to his Man in Chair, creating a complex and hysterical character. Taylor McCord also did justice to the starlet Janet Van De Graaff with big stage presence and an even bigger voice. Another truly inspiring performance was Abby Palen as the Chaperone, who nailed this over-the-top role with her fearless voice and expressions.
Wonderful performances were also given by Madison Kleckner and Zach Oak as Kitty and Mr. Feldzieg, respectively. The comic timing of this duo in addition to that of Virginia Kavanaugh as Mrs. Tottendale and Jacob O’Brien as Aldolpho made for a sidesplitting evening.