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Broadway Icon Andrea McArdle to Star in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ at Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre

The sun’ll come out this summer when Andrea McArdle takes center stage as the sauced and saucy title character in “The Drowsy Chaperone.” This hilarious love letter to musical comedy is presented by Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT) as part of its 40th anniversary season.

Brace yourself for an evening of uproarious laughter and Broadway magic with “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical Score. In this side-splitting comedy, the fervent passion of a die-hard theatre fan unleashes a whirlwind of hilarity as his favorite cast album springs to life, showcasing a riotous ensemble of characters in a musical extravaganza like no other.

“I couldn’t dream of a better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary than to welcome Ms. McArdle to our stage, and in such a wonderful role,” said SSMT’s Producing Artistic Director Jeremy Scott Blaustein (also featured in the production as “Man in Chair”). “The character of the Chaperone is described as a woman ‘known for her rousing anthems.’ Ms. McArdle is perfect casting and she’s going to be a sensation.”

The production, which plays from Friday, July 5, through Sunday, July 14, will be directed by Edward Carignan (artistic director at Short North Stage in Columbus, Ohio), with choreography from Brandon Kelly (Broadway’s “Come from Away”) and musical direction from Walter Bobby McCoy (3-time Helen Hayes Award winner). Scenic design is by Tony DiBernardo, with lighting by Eric Norbury and costumes by Darcy Kane.

SSMT’s 40th anniversary season opens with “Fiddler on the Roof” (from Friday, June 21, through Sunday, June 30) featuring Thom Christopher Warren (Broadway’s “The Lion King”) as Tevye and Becca Ayers (Broadway’s “1776,” “My Fair Lady,” “South Pacific,” “Les Misérables”) as Golde. The season will conclude with an inventive production of “The Wizard of Oz” (from Friday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 4, with a relaxed performance on Tuesday, July 30).

Visit ssmtva.org or call 540-665-4569 to learn more and purchase tickets.

About Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre

Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre (SSMT) is a professional not-for-profit summer stock located on Shenandoah University’s Winchester campus. Now in its 40th season, it provides its community with quality art that is affordable, approachable, and enlightening. Its alumni have been featured in Broadway productions, national tours, and prominent regional theatres across the country.

About Andrea McArdle

McArdle rocketed to stardom as Broadway’s original “Annie”, for which she was the youngest performer ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, winning both the Theatre World and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for her performance. On Broadway, she originated the roles of Ashley in “Starlight Express” and Margy in “State Fair” and was seen as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” and as Fantine in “Les Misérables.” On tour she starred in “Jerry’s Girls,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Peter Pan.” Off-Broadway, McArdle has appeared in the satirical “Newsical” and she has played the title role in regional productions of “Mame” and “Hello, Dolly!” McArdle has performed in concert halls from Carnegie Hall to the best showrooms in Las Vegas to the MET Opera House as well as The White House. On PBS, she has appeared in “Andrea McArdle on Broadway” and “The Leading Ladies of Broadway.”