Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Musical aims to lift city spirits with laughter


Joining in the efforts to lift the city’s spirit through the arts, Theatre Tuscaloosa presents a musical comedy that the group hopes will bring laughter to all who see it. “The Drowsy Chaperone” opens Friday at the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State’s campus.

This show within a show opens with the man in the chair, a music fanatic, who puts on his favorite musical album, The Drowsy Chaperone. It is the tale of a glamorous actress on her wedding day. Threatened by his chief investor, the producer of her latest show tries to stop the nuptials to keep from losing his leading lady. The audience is taken along for the ride as the musical within a comedy unfolds in the man’s apartment. Filled with twists and turns, including mistaken identities, dream sequences and spit takes, the 90-minute show boasts nonstop laughter.

The show is directed by Theatre Tuscaloosa’s executive producer and Alabama alumnus Tina Turley. With more than 25 years worth of experience as a director, actor, writer, teacher and theater manager, she is no stranger to the stage. Turley is accredited with choosing the show for the season, telling The Crimson White that, while on a trip to New York, she saw the show by herself and was amazed by how funny it was.

“I would have turned around and gone right back in if I could’ve,” said Turley.

After just over two months since the tornado, this show couldn’t have come at a better time, Turley said.

“Although we had chosen this musical over a year ago, we had no idea how much it would be needed in the wake of the April 27 tornado,” she said.

The musical is the original script and features original choreography. Stacy Alley, assistant professor of musical theatre and dance at The University of Alabama, choreographed the entire show. Alley, an Alabama alumnus as well, is noted for being a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, choreographer for numerous shows throughout the country – most recently “A Chorus Line” at Forestburgh Playhouse in New York – and is the Co-Chair of the Musical Theatre Committee at the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Alley, who has actually been choreographing five shows in the last four months, has found the time to add wonderful and entertaining choreography to the musical, which includes a roller skating number. Alley said that this show is one of the funniest she has ever seen.

“The choreography in this show is fun, and the actors bring a little bit of their character into it,” she said.

Turley said the show called for the triple-threat performer, and one of those is Drey Mitchell. A sophomore at the University, Mitchell plays the leading male role, groom Robert Martin. Initially thinking he was going to get a supporting role, Mitchell was surprised when he was asked to lead. Though having only about four years of experience, Mitchell brings talent and entertainment to the stage that rivals some seasoned veterans. Mitchell said the show is nonstop energy and will definitely be fun and entertaining for the audience.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” will be presented July 15-24. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Sundays.

On Thursday, there will be a pay-what-you-can final dress rehearsal at 7:30 p.m., with proceeds benefitting the Charlie Dennis Memorial Scholarship Fund. Tickets to the regular performances are $22 for adults, $17 for seniors and $10 for students and children. Patrons can receive $1 off tickets if they bring a non-perishable food item, which will go the West Alabama Food Bank for those affected by the April 27tornado. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 205-391-2277.

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