Lazar will play the role filled by Gene Kelly in the film version, a sailor who spends his leave in New York City searching for "Miss Turnstiles," a girl her saw in a subway ad.
Lazar has taken parts in the Broadway productions of Oklahoma! and Phantom of the Opera, two shows which, ironically, began life in London.
Unlike so many opera company musicals, where opera stars are cast in the leads (Covent Garden’s Sweeney was the baritone Thomas Allen), this production has firmly opted for musical theatre actors, including Saturday Night Fever's Adam Garcia, as green seaman Chip, and Chicago's Caroline O’Connor, as brazen cab driver Hildy. There are opera singers in the cast, too, notably Willard W. White.
Jude Kelly will direct, with choreography by Stephen Mear. The cast also includes Helen Anker (Contact and The Beautiful and the Damned), Philip Ball, Lucy Schaufer and Greg Winter.
The show opens March 5, 2005, and runs until April 19. For more information, call (0)20 7632 8300.