Crombie fills the choice seat as the Tony Award-winning musical's narrator/guide through April 15, in anticipation of John Glover taking over the role April 17.
Between March 13-18, understudies Jay Douglas and Patrick Wetzel alternated as the salty charmer at the Marquis Theatre.
Original Man in Chair Bob Martin, who was Tony-nommed for his performance and who won the Best Book of a Musical Tony (with Don McKellar), left the show March 11 and will originate the role in the London production in May.
This marks the Broadway debut of Crombie. His Canadian credits include Oxford Roof Climber's Rebellion, Dishwashers (Tarragon); This Could Be Love (Artword); Ouch My Toe (Fringe); Toronto's The Drowsy Chaperone (as Gangster #2 at the Toronto Fringe, Theatre Passe Muraille, Winter Garden, prior to the American producers coming aboard); Romeo & Juliet, Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, Comedy of Errors (Stratford Festival); Arcadia, Last Romantics, What the Butler Saw (CanStage); Godspell (New Vic); Wimsey Madders (Flatzbo), and TV's "Slings & Arrows" and the popular "Anne of Green Gables."
His cast mates at the Marquis include Peter Bartlett, Danny Burstein, Georgia Engel, Sutton Foster, Troy Britton Johnson, Eddie Korbich, Garth Kravits, Jason Kravits, Beth Leavel (who won a Tony Award for her turn in the title role), Kecia Lewis-Evans, Jennifer Smith, Lenny Wolpe, Andrea Chamberlain, Jay Douglas, Stacia Fernandez, Linda Gabler, Kilty Reidy, Joey Sorge, Patrick Wetzel and Joanna Young. *
Just because he left a dent in a cushion doesn't mean Bob Martin won't fill it again. Martin previously told Playbill.com that it's his hope and expectation that if the details can be worked out, he'll play Man in Chair in Toronto, where the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone is expected to play. The musical was first developed in Toronto. The tour launches this fall, but a launch city has yet to be announced.
(One of the worst-kept secrets in Canadian theatre lately is the expectation that the national tour of Drowsy will launch this fall in Toronto.)
Since Martin has deep ties with the show (he did co-write it, after all), it's expected that he could very well make future appearances in the Broadway run as well.
Although nothing official has been announced, Sutton Foster, who also stars in Drowsy, is expected to exit the Marquis this spring when her contract expires. She was Tony-nominated for playing a starlet in the show.
Directed and choreographed by Tony Award nominee Casey Nicholaw (Spamalot), with music and lyrics by Tony Award winners Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and a book by Tony Award winners Bob Martin and Don McKellar, The Drowsy Chaperone began Broadway previews April 3, 2006, and opened on Broadway on May 1, 2006.
The Drowsy Chaperone also won 2006 Tony Awards for Best Costume Design of a Musical (Gregg Barnes), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (David Gallo) and Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Beth Leavel).
"To chase his blues away, a modern day musical theatre addict known simply as 'Man in Chair' drops the needle on his favorite cast album – the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone," according to the producers. "From the crackle of his hi-fi, the uproariously funny musical magically bursts to life on stage. We are instantly immersed in the hilarious tale of a glamorous bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast (literally) and the audience (metaphorically) soaring into the heavens. Man in Chair's infectious love of The Drowsy Chaperone speaks to anyone who has ever been transported by the theatre."
The show is produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Boyett Ostar, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman.