Guild’s ‘Drowsy Chaperone’ and Southgate’s ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ provide comic relief

Photo By Sue Suchyta

Southgate Community Players present the Broadway musical “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at 8 p.m. May 13, 14, 20 and 21 at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road in Southgate. The cast includes John Bacarella (left) of Monroe as Lawrence, Tracy Glover of Toledo as Christine and Leo McMaster of Rockwood as Freddy. For more information, call (734) 282-4SCP (4727) or go to

By Sue Suchyta
When the headlines or prices at the pump offer little relief, slip away from the real world for a few hours and enjoy some well-written and skillfully delivered musical comedy. The Players Guild of Dearborn opened the first of a four-weekend run of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical comedy “The Drowsy Chaperone” last Friday. The show continues through May 29 at the playhouse at Madison and Monroe in Dearborn.

Southgate will offer its own adult musical comedy, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” for two weekends at 8 p.m. May 13, 14, 20 and 21at Davidson Middle School, 15800 Trenton Road in Southgate.

Billed as a musical within a comedy, “The Drowsy Chaperone” is an entertaining blend of modern one-liners and vaudeville humor, mixing Zoloft jokes with spit-takes.

Brian Townsend is irrepressibly fun to watch as “The Man in the Chair,” a beleaguered mouse of a man whose escape of choice is musical theater. As he sets a record on the turntable and begins his narration, his apartment fades away and a Roaring ’20s mansion appears, piece by piece, as do the show’s characters, introduced with trivia and gossip by their greatest fan.

The characters make the show; the plot exists to give them material to play with while they make us laugh.

Basically, a film star, played by talented Guild leading lady Sydnee Dombrowski, is giving up her career to get married. This upsets the people who rely on her for their own fortunes. Throw in a few side plots and mistaken identities, and you’ve outlines the basic story.

Lindel Salow is in his comic element as the Latin lover Aldonzo. He mixes physical comedy with a dead-on delivery that will leave you shrieking with laughter.

Juliette Delabbio-Abbott, as the chaperone, makes the most of her comic scenes with Salow, and plays the disoriented drunk with both flippancy and amusement.

Mike Moseley is similarly entertaining as a cigar-chomping movie mogul who wants to prevent the wedding to maintain the financial cash flow of his leading lady, and to hold off the threats of the slapstick gangsters, engagingly played by James Mayne and Alan Ellias.

Kimberly Paige Elliot, a relative newcomer to the Guild, is delightful as the ditzy blonde chorine with street smarts and attitude.

Elliot wears some delightful dresses as a ditzy blonde in the Roaring ’20s, epitomizing a well-dressed flapper.

Costume governor Mary Calder made the most of a color era and an eccentric show. Her apron-clad gangster-pastry chefs are a hoot. Sydnee Dombrowski is beautifully costumed, and amazed the house with her rapid changes.

Paul Bruce’s set design is clever and visually pleasing, from the double-sided French doors to the glorious, colorful horizon behind the “air ship.”

The show will run for three more weekends, through May 29, with 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday shows and 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees.

Tickets for “The Drowsy Chaperone” are $18, with student and group discounts available. The theater is handicapped-accessible.

For more information call (313) 561-TKTS or go to

Southgate Community Players will present the Broadway musical comedy “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at 8 p.m. May 13, 14, 20 and 21 at the Davidson Middle School Auditorium, 15800 Trenton Road in Southgate.

When two clever con men find that the French Riveria is too small for both of them, they set up a wager to see who can beat the other at their mutual game and “get the girl.” Along the way they discover things aren’t always as they seem and learn a few lessons of their own.

“The cast is having a great time,” said producer Erin Schmidt. “They’re working very, very hard and they’re just having a lot of fun with it.”

She added that it is a great show that everyone will enjoy.

“It is hilarious,” Schmidt added, “But it is adult-themed, though, so just keep that in mind.”

The show is directed and choreographed by Denny Connors of Allen Park, with assistant direction by Theresa Pauli of Lincoln Park. Erin Schmidt of Brownstown is the producer, with Rich Alder of Westland as the music director and Jeni Dusseau of Erie as the vocal director.

The 21-person cast includes the talented trio of John Bacarella of Monroe as Lawrence, Leo McMaster of Rockwood as Freddy and Tracy Glover of Toledo as Christine.

In supporting roles are Rob Eagal of Trenton as Andre, Annie Mann of Southgate as Muriel and Katie Suchyta of Dearborn as Jolene.

The talented ensemble includes Allen Park resident Carolyn Sohoza, Brownstown resident Karlene Szekely, and Catherine Long of Lincoln Park.

Taylor ensemble members include Jay Carter, Raymond Carter and Larry Hubbert. Trenton talent is represented by Cheryl Eagal.

Monica Almaguer and Charlene Bauer of Woodhaven, along with Wyandotte residents Colette Cerulla, Frank Cerulla, Stephanie Mayville, Brian Moody, Laura Moody and Patrick Reed complete the ensemble.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors. The show contains adult content, and is not appropriate for children.

For more information, call (734) 282-4SCP (4727), or go to