Audience Stunned by Surprise Wedding — a Real One — at the Climax of Drowsy Chaperone in L.A.

News   Audience Stunned by Surprise Wedding — a Real One — at the Climax of Drowsy Chaperone in L.A.
 
The Drowsy Chaperone, which is snagging some solid reviews in its pre-Broadway run at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, had something more to celebrate at the Nov. 22 performance — a real on-stage wedding.

From Left: Roy Miller, Bob Martin and Heather Hawkins.
From Left: Roy Miller, Bob Martin and Heather Hawkins. Photo by Ryan Miller, Capture Imaging

The musical comedy that spoofs musicals of the 1920s (and includes several weddings in its daffy plot) ended with its usual bows at the evening performance Nov. 22, and then gave way to the brief marriage ceremony of Roy Miller, one of the show's commercial producers, and actress Heather Hawkins, who is not a member of the cast.

Officiating at the ceremony — and explaining the surprise nuptials to the audience — was actor Bob Martin, who stars in The Drowsy Chaperone, which he also co-wrote. Martin was ordained to perform the ceremony through an online ministry service.

Miller, a former associate producer at Paper Mill Playhouse 1991-2004, was one of the producers of the recent Broadway revival of I'm Not Rappaport. He's one of several commercial producers, including Kevin McCollum and Bob Boyett, steering the musical to Broadway in 2006, after its current LORT run at the Ahmanson Theatre. Casey Nicholaw directs and choreographs the musical, and did the last minute staging of the Miller-Hawkins vows.

The show's cast, including Sutton Foster, Beth Leavel, Georgia Engel and more, witnessed the marriage and reprised a song from the show, "I Do, I Do in the Sky," after the real "I do's" were done. Georgia Engel and Danny Burstein are on the marriage certificate as witnesses. During the ceremony when Bob Martin asked for the rings, Engel and Eddie Korbich brought them forward.

New bride Heather Hawkins' most recent musical theatre credits include regional turns as Marty in Grease, Lucy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Sandy in Grease; Lilly in Swingtime Canteen; Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana; and Natalie in The Merry Widow. As a soloist, she has performed in concert with artists such as country singer Toby Keith. Television credits include "All My Children" and "Law & Order." She was born and raised in Stillwater, OK. This is her second marriage. Both sets of parents were in attendance, but only Hawkins' dad knew the event was going to happen that night (she wanted to be walked down the aisle — or at least, downstage — by her father, so they let him in on the secret).

In addition to Hawkins' dad, Paul Jones, her mom Annette Jones, both of Oklahoma, and Miller's folks, Roy and Helen Miller, of New Jersey, were all in attendance. At the end of the show Nov. 22, Hawkins' dad slipped out of his theatre seat on a cue and arrived on stage after the bows, to the shock of his wife and son, Matt, who had been enjoying the musical from their separate row.

Miller's brother Glenn was also in the house. The families had been told a wedding would take place at another site and were taken off guard.

Miller told Playbill.com he and Hawkins had sought to bypass a drawn-out engagement and didn't want a lavish, traditional wedding. Their first plan was to do an intimate wedding somewhere in L.A. Casey Nicholaw, a Tony Award nominee for his Spamalot choreography, suggested the on-stage ceremony be officiated by Bob Martin. (Not every couple can say their wedding was staged by a Tony nominee.)

Miller and Hawkins are staying in L.A. for the duration of Drowsy Chaperone, which ends its run there Dec. 24, and are looking forward to a honeymoon in 2006. They had a post-wedding stay at San Diego's Hotel Del Coronado.

Miller, who grew up in New Jersey, will live with Hawkins in Manhattan.

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