From its humble beginnings as a short 40-minute musical wedding gift, The Drowsy Chaperone is now a Broadway sensation. With a bride thats giving up the stage for love, her handsome bridegroom, her desperate producer, synched-up gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a ditzy blonde with aspirations of greatness, the Latin King of Romance, the Drowsy Chaperone herself, and an aviatrix, the shows a nod to the zany musicals of the 1920s, with tap numbers, rousing anthems, even dancing monkeys. The best part is that you arent watching all this alone; The Man in the Chair guides you through his favorite musical as it unfolds in his apartment, jumping in and out of the show to provide background on all the actors. This is the perfect musical for two reasons: It seems to make fun of every musical youve ever seen, yet reveres musical theater as one of lifes magical necessities. Most of the cast comes to Seattle directly from the New York City production, and even features the fantastic Georgia Engel, who originated the role of the forgetful Mrs. Tottendale. But everyone on stage performs with astounding vigor and commitment throughout. The best way to describe The Drowsy Chaperone is to compare it to a glass of champagne: elegant, bubbly, and over before you want it to be. DYLAN SLADKY 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., 625-1900, www.5thavenue.org. $22$81. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Wed., 8 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 1:30 & 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Nov. 16.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 1:30 & 7 p.m. Starts: Oct. 29. Continues through Nov. 16, 2008