Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe

The Drowsy Chaperone
The Adobe Theater
Review by Carole C. Sullivan

Erin Moody, Ron Bronitsky, and Cast
Photo by Philip J. Shortell
They have a lot of fun at The Adobe Theater. When you arrive at the tiny venue you're always welcomed warmly. Everyone seems to know everyone else. You're the stranger dropping into their party. But as the evening evolves, you are gradually brought into the fold and you become part of the family–a family that clearly loves putting on plays. They have been doing so since 1957 and utilized various spaces until locating to their own 90-seat space in the North Valley in 1995.

Adobe is an unabashedly proud community theater that clearly lives these words from their mission statement, to furnish an opportunity for theater enthusiasts of all ages with any degree of experience to grow in their ability on stage and behind the scenes. This means that many of their productions are somewhat uneven. Any reviewer would do well to concentrate on the enthusiasm of the offerings and not dwell on any shortcomings.

The Adobe Theater is presenting the 2006 Tony Award winning musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, for the second time. This production includes several cast and crew members from the 2012 run. This homecoming, of sorts, adds to the familial atmosphere. The silly satire is perfectly suited to the various talents of the Adobe company, new and old. The show is an ode to those old 1920s musicals that were light on plot and heavy on comedy.

The narrator of this parody of musical comedy is a great lover of musical theatre, who comments on the action and moves the play along. Veteran Albuquerque actor Ron Bronitsky brings considerable skill to his portrayal of Man in Chair. Theater lovers will identify with his observations about the contemporary theater. Another standout in the cast is repeat performer Erin Moody as the Drowsy Chaperone who is picture perfect and has an outstanding voice. Bill Williams is an accomplished comedic actor who brings the right blend of all knowing charm and silliness to the buffoonish Aldolpho.

Rikki Carroll is new to the Adobe Theater; she replaces Lisette Mowery in the leading role of Janet van de Graaff. Rikki hits all the right notes for the diva who laments she doesn't want to "Show Off," while doing just that. Her comic timing is spot on.

The rest of the cast lend able support. Nearly everyone has a moment to shine. The tap dancing of Tim MacAlpine and Stevie Nichols stands out as does the vaudeville antics of Jack Litherland and Jim Williams. The band of Cheryl Sharp, musical director and keyboard, and Abel Cuevas on drums is excellent.

The design and technical aspects of the show are kept minimal as befits the small performing space. The set is suggestive and minimal props are used. The lighting is bright and happy for this musical comedy. The costumes seem to be pulled from stock and are quite a mix of styles. Only the costume of Erin Moody as the Drowsy Chaperone is authentic and fits properly. Please tailor costumes to the performers and iron or steam them.

Directors Jane and Cy Hoffman have done of great job of keeping the action going and using every nook and cranny of the space. Some timing was off on opening night, but this can be attributed to first night jitters.

This musical is a fine family show for the holiday season.

The Drowsy Chaperone runs through December 18, 2022, at the Adobe Theater, 9813 Fourth St., NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Performances are: Thursdays, Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 7:30 and 2:00 pm, and Sundays at 2:00 pm General Admission tickets $25; $22 senior/student/military, plus fees.Ticket Information: 505-898-9222,

Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. Book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. Directed by Cy and Jane Hoffman.

Cast: Ron Bronitsky, Rick Hassi, Jane Hoffman, Dianna Hughes, Tim MacAlpine, Lou Mazzullo, Erin Moody, Rikki Carroll, Kiersten Nord, Stevie Nichols, Russ Sype, Bill Williams, Jack Litherland, and Jim Williams.