Hickory – The Hickory Community Theatre has just begun rehearsals for its holiday musical, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. Performances will be December 2-17 in the Jeffers Theatre.

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, winner of five Tony Awards in 2006, is a musical with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, and a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar.

As the show begins, Man in Chair, a mousy, agoraphobic Broadway fanatic, seeking to cure his “non-specific sadness”, listens to a recording of the fictional 1928 musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. As he listens to this rare recording, the characters appear in his dingy apartment, and it is transformed into an impressive Broadway set with seashell footlights, sparkling furniture, painted backdrops, and glitzy costumes. Man in Chair provides a running commentary throughout the show from the stage, though he is on the audience side of the fourth wall, invisible to the players.

Playing Man in Chair for the upcoming HCT production is local actor J. David Ingle. This is his second time playing the role, the first was in 2017 at the Green Room Community Theatre. “It’s a delight to have the chance to re-create my all-time favorite role,” he said. “The character is funny, catty and totally relatable.” THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is Ingle’s eighth appearance on the HCT stage, his previous roles there include Tateh in RAGTIME, Thernardier in LES MISÉRABLES and Dubhdara in THE PIRATE QUEEN. His stage experience also includes playing Felix in THE ODD COUPLE and Benny in GUYS AND DOLLS at the Green Room Community Theatre. When not indulging his creative side, Ingle is an accounts payable specialist for Profile Products, LLC. His education includes an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting from Catawba Valley Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Mathemetics.

Performances of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE are December 2 through 17, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:30pm and Thursday, December 15 at 7:30pm.

Tickets for all performances are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. For tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283.

The HCT’s 74th season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive, Sunbelt Xpress and Frye Regional Medical Center. HCT is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. THE DROWSY CHAPERONE is produced by Shurtape Technologies, LLC.

PHOTO: J. David Ingle plays Man in Chair in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. Performances begin Friday, December 2 at the Hickory Community Theatre. For dates, times and tickets visit hickorytheatre.org or call the box office at 828-328-2283. Photo by John Koval.