Feeling a little 'Drowsy'....Costume Design and The Drowsy Chaperone

I've been terrible about keeping up with the blog! Suffice it to say, I've been a bit busy. As soon as I finished my thesis and graduated (yippee!) I was immediately plunged into teaching summer school and designing costumes for Paradise Valley Community College's production of The Drowsy Chaperone, a charming "musical within a play" set primarily in the 1920s. It was such a fun show, and probably the last that I'll be lead designer on for awhile (time to focus on getting that PhD!).

Overall it was a wonderful project. I started working on it in early May and it took approximately 6 weeks to pull together, which is not as much time as it sounds when you're costuming more than thirty cast members! Fortunately I had two amazingly awesome assistants, Jessica and Miranda, who kept me sane and worked so incredibly hard. I was so grateful to have them! Our cast was amazing and did such a fantastic job. This really was such a fun show, both on stage and behind the scenes. For those of you who missed it, or those who want another glimpse, here are some photos from the show (and a few from behind the scenes).

As always, certain things got tweaked right up to opening night, so some of these photos aren't completely accurate to what the final show looked like, but I think it gives you a good idea. All photos were taken by Tiffany, who did a fantastic job! 


Mrs. Tottendale (Taylor Brady) and Underling (Michael Workman) singing "Fancy Dress".

"I'm Janet!...Janet Van De Graffe!" The bride arrives.

I absolutely LOVED the blue lace dress we found for Janet (played by Alexandra Melikian). It was one of the few things we didn't make from scratch. But as soon as I found that vintage dress in our stock I knew we had to try and use it. In the end, it fit her like it was made for her.
Start of the show. Doesn't even show you every actor.

George and Robert accept a drink from Underling and take a break from "Cold Feets"

George suggests Robert go for a "skate" to clear his mind before the wedding. Because skating is "safer" than tap dancing.
Feldzieg and Kitty have a chat with the two Gangsters...I mean, "pastry chefs". ;)
The beginning of "Show Off". This number was quite the trick as poor Alex had 5 costume and 4 quick changes during this one song. The last of which required her to run around the back of the set to reappear on the other side of the stage.

The chiffon petal skirt spun out to reveal the super cute and sparkly navy blue sequined shorts underneath. Eventually the skirt got rhinestones, so there was lots of extra sparkle.

The Chaperone (played by Kat Nunez), singing "As We Stumble Along"

Drowsy being seduced by Aldolpho. Possibly the funniest scene in the play.
"Accident Waiting to Happen". This blue dress was such a challenge. It changed quite a bit over the run, in the end I think I was happy with it, but it was definitely a lesson in remember that not everything turns out exactly as you designed it.
"Toledo Surprise"
"Message from a Nightingale", a King and I spoof that happens at the act break. Hilarious!
Drowsy and Aldolpho are getting married!
I think Janet's still mad at Robert. :)
I think the wedding is back on.
The happy couple! I loved making her wedding dress.

There's no minister!
Drowsy looks a bit unhappy that the minister is missing. 
The Superintendent crashes the party.

Man in Chair (Will Hightower) explains why the musical and it's characters means so much to him.

Laying out the beads on the applique before stitching them on. Took me all afternoon to get them sewn!
In the shop. Laying out the pattern for the bodice of Janet's blue "Garden" dress. As you can see, all the needed materials are at arms reach: ruler, scissors, chalk, pins, notes, reference sketch...Starbucks. :)

Cast and crew photo. I'll miss those guys!

Alex and I. I can't resist showing one last photo of Janet's wedding dress. :)


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