The Drowsy Chaperone
, for a show under two hours, has a whole biplane-load of catchy, singable songs with some clever word construction and whatnot -- a blindfolded bridegroom on rollerskates, for example, singing "I'm An Accident Waiting To Happen." Or his bride-to-be, a Broadway star who's giving it all up to marry him, singing a song about how she no longer wants to show off... but of course, she ends up showing off in a big production number. And then there's Adolpho, the Latin lothario who wants to make sure joo know his name, and that he can sing his name very fast -- adlfo! -- or very slowly ("I would do eet now, but eet would take hours.
One of the sweeter subplots (if indeed this show can claim to have "plots" whatsoever) is the budding romance between Mrs. Tottendale, the aging dowager who is hosting the wedding at her palatial estate, and Underling, her faithful and somewhat appropriately-named butler. Mrs. Tottendale is ... not quite with it. Her elevator hasn't gone to the top since the elevator was invented. In the show-within-the-show, Mrs. Tottendale is played by the former vaudeville star Ukelele Lil; in our reality, or what passes for it, Georgia Engel plays the role on Broadway. She's also known for playing Ted Baxter's dimwitted wife Georgette on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
and, appropriately, Mrs. Tottendale is an older verison of Georgette: sweet, kind, and innocently stupid. Underling, of course, is the right and proper butler type, who often gets frustrated at Mrs. Tottendale's complete lack of understanding... well, anything. But he likes her anyway.
Of course, they have a lovely duet in the second act where they finally realize they have a thing for each other. Originally, the duet was a ditty called "I Remember Love", which had cute lyrics ("I remember 'oink' / I remember 'moo' / I remember petting something furry at the zoo / And I remember love -- at least, I think I do") but wasn't quite
enough. The replacement song, "Love Is Always Lovely In The End", is much more charming, full of delicious internal rhymes, a sweetly warped premise and has one of my favorite off-handed jokes in the show (the 'tragedy' exchange.) I'll throw the lyrics in under the cut. I'm not sure why there's a big block o' whitespace before the table; but hey, that's
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