When February hits, every grocery store is overwhelmed with cheery red hearts and chocolate candies. You can't go down an aisle in the store without being reminded that this is the month of "LOVE". Another reminder, for me, is being in rehearsals for SDSU's production of The Drowsy Chaperone as the lovely Mrs. Tottendale aka Ukulele Lil. In the musical, Mrs. T sees the world through rose colored, heart-shaped glasses and welcomes the wedding guests of Robert Martin and Janet van de Graaff. So, when I might have a cynical perspective on the commericalism of the holiday, I must take pause and remind myself that not all people are like this, especially Mrs. T. If you are familiar with the show, there is another layer to the character. The "Man in Chair" informs the audience that the players in Drowsy are portrayed by "real" vaudeville actors. So, Mrs. T is really Ukulele Lil. We have just started rehearsals so I haven't fully gotten to know Lil yet but I have a feeling that I am going to really like her. Anyone that can pull off a character that seems to be living in her own Valentine's card must have a yin to the yang. I look forward to discovering what that is for Lil through the rehearsal process. So, when I sing Mrs. T's song "Love is Always Lovely" I will have a secret laugh with the real Ukulele Lil about how right out of the candy box it really is.
Here are a view photos of Georgia Engel reprising her role of Mrs. Tottendale with the National Touring Company of The Drowsy Chaperone.
SDSU's production runs March 4 - 13 at the Don Powell Theatre.