Photo by Peter Beckman

First, I’d like to say that I will be getting in touch with Ellie Sivesind to see if the glitzy pink flapper dress she wore in the final number of “The Drowsy Chaperone” is available for loan.  While the costuming was fantastic, it was just one layer of a show that really had it all going on.

While theatre critic is not on my list of talents, I know a great show when I see one.  My friend and I agreed after the show Friday night – “Drowsy” was one of the best community theatre productions done in Bakersfield in a long time.

Directed by Brian Sivesind, the show was well-cast with some of the city’s most talented actors and actresses.  Bruce Saathoff as the man in the chair was more in his element than I’ve ever seen.  His performance was brilliant and completely hilarious. The extraordinarily gifted local treasure, Bethany Rowlee, sang, danced and charmed her way to another show stealing performance.  She captured my attention in “Chicago” and her role as Janet van de Graaff  in “Drowsy” was just as flawless.  The very funny and talented Tamara White, who I adored in “Once Upon a Mattress” was cast as the Drowsy Chaperone.  The amusement only grew when her character got involved with the testosterone-filled egomaniac, Aldolpho.  Kudos to Ken Burdick, Virginia Lennermann, Jim Fillbrandt, Dallas White, Brent Rochon, Frank Sierra, Cory McCall, Bob Anderson, Ellie Sivesind and Jill Burdick and to the musicians, choreographers, set designers and the lighting and sound folks.  Only in community theatre do you get to visit with the talent after the show and say “congratulations on a job well done – you clearly loved every minute on stage.”

There’s something about watching a team of passionate performers coming together to do what they love.  Give them a good script, a talented director and a venue as unique and seasoned as Stars and whatever worries you carry with you into that theatre will disappear.  And, in this case, be replaced by two hours of laughter.  Thank you to my neighbors and other locals for performing your hearts out – live and in the flesh.

It was a great evening!