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The Van De Graaff Generator 

Dazzling Janet Van De Graaff is soon to wed her beau, the wealthy oilman Robert Martin. Van De Graaff's impending nuptials are of grave concern to her employer, Mr. Feldzieg; she stars in his musical revue, Feldzieg's Follies, and a married woman soon thinks more about starting a family than performing eight shows a week. Feldzieg's fretting is enhanced by the arrival of two torpedoes, who are employed by Feldzieg's moneyman to break up the happy couple so the show can go on. There's a heap of cash riding on Van De Graaff's continued participation, you see. But Van De Graaff has niggling doubts about Robert's devotion to her, which cause her to disguise herself and attempt to woo him as another woman. And then matters become complex: This is all the original cast recording of the lost musical gem of the 1920s, The Drowsy Chaperone, and it's playing in the sitting room of the Man in Chair. He's a lonely fellow, and when his sadness becomes too great, he plays the album for comfort — and the show bursts into life right there in his apartment. The Drowsy Chaperone is a loving spoof of the standards of the Jazz Age musical, but it's also about art's redemptive power. Anyone who considers a certain album or book a trusted friend will understand. Stages St. Louis presents The Drowsy Chaperone at the Robert G. Reim Theater (111 South Geyer Road, Kirkwood; 314-821-2407 or www.stagesstlouis.org) every day (except Monday) through Sunday, August 16. Tickets are $28 to $48.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 17. Continues through Aug. 16, 2009

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