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Opening Weekend of The Drowsy Chaperone at Granite Theatre

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Opening Weekend of "The Drowsy Chaperone" at Granite Theatre: A Celebration of Community and Theatrical Excellence

As the lights dim and the soft hum of anticipation fills the air, Granite Theatre is set to welcome audiences to the opening weekend of "The Drowsy Chaperone," running from Friday, July 12, 2024, to Sunday, August 4, 2024. This Tony Award-winning musical, known for its hilarious and heartfelt homage to the Golden Age of musicals, promises to deliver one show-stopping song and dance number after another. Yet, what truly sets this production apart is the unique blend of local talent and the storied history of the Granite Theatre itself.

A Theatre with Deep Community Roots

Perched on the highest point in downtown Westerly, Rhode Island, the Granite Theatre is more than just a performance venue; it's a historical gem and a symbol of community spirit. This beautifully restored Greek Revival Church, originally purchased in 1843 for $200 (equivalent to just under $8,000 today), has evolved from "The Christian Chapel in Westerly" to the Broad Street Christian Church, and finally, in the year 2000, to the beloved Granite Theatre. Despite the passage of time and the destruction of its steeple in the Hurricane of 1938, the building's essence remains unchanged. It's a place where history and art intersect, creating a magical experience for all who enter.

Legend has it that the theatre was built upon a magic rock, adding a touch of mystique to its already rich heritage. Visitors are invited to explore its tiny rubble basement and judge for themselves the truth of this enchanting myth.

Exceptional Local Talent

Granite Theatre prides itself on showcasing the exceptional talent within our local community. The cast of "The Drowsy Chaperone" is no exception, featuring actors who not only perform with skill and passion but also embody the very spirit of community theatre. These performers bring a unique authenticity and heart to their roles, making each show a truly communal experience.

Under the direction of Artistic Director Nicole DiMattei, the theatre has flourished. A recent transplant from New York City, Nicole brings a wealth of experience from her illustrious career, which includes performing, producing, directing, and writing for various Off-Broadway productions. Her dedication to the craft and to the Granite Theatre has made her an invaluable asset to the community.

A Musical Reunion of Talented Minds

The musical side of this production reunites two remarkable talents: Lynn Dowding and Curt Dumas. Lynn Dowding, the longtime Chariho High School choral director and music director at Central Baptist Church, has been a fixture in the world of musical theatre for over 25 years, accompanying dozens of shows. Curt Dumas, an NYU graduate and the first recipient of The ASCAP Foundation Vic Mizzy Scholarship in 2012, has composed and performed music with Lynn since his high school days. Their collaboration on "The Drowsy Chaperone" brings a depth of experience and a unique synergy that is sure to enhance the production's musical brilliance.

A Meta-Musical Delight

Hailed by New York Magazine as "The Perfect Broadway Musical," "The Drowsy Chaperone" is a masterful meta-musical that lovingly pokes fun at the tropes of the musical theatre genre. The story begins with a man in a chair who, as he listens to the cast recording of a fictitious 1928 musical, brings the recording to life on stage. The audience is treated to a whimsical narrative filled with two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan, and an intoxicated chaperone. The result is an evening of madcap delight and pure theatrical magic.

Looking Ahead

Granite Theatre's production of "The Drowsy Chaperone" is a testament to the power of community theatre. It exemplifies how local talent, historical venues, and a passion for the arts can come together to create something truly special. As Granite Theatre continues its tradition of quality, year-round entertainment and educational programming, it remains a cherished institution in Westerly, Rhode Island.

So, whether you're a long-time supporter of the arts or a newcomer looking to experience the magic of live theatre, Granite Theatre welcomes you with open arms. Join us for the opening weekend of "The Drowsy Chaperone" and be part of a community that celebrates the joy and wonder of musical theatre. Thank you for visiting, and we hope to see you at the theatre!

Ben Barber

Ben Barber

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