Claudia Shear, Kevin Chamberlin and Bob Stillman—the original cast of Broadway's Dirty Blonde—will reunite for the UK premiere of the comic play with music, Chamberlin told Playbill On-Line.
The show will do a four-week run, July 5-Aug. 3, at The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, UK. Gareth Hendee, who was original director James Lapine's assistant on the New York production, will stage the work (penned by Shear). The mounting will use the Broadway set, which has been shipped across the Atlantic.
There is a possibility the project will transfer to the West End should the Yorkshire reviews prove sanguine.
A hit on Broadway, Dirty Blonde looks at two single New Yorkers, Jo and Charlie, both Mae West fans, who meet at West's grave site. The play traces the couple's changing relationship while simultaneously tracking West's career. Shear plays both West (at all ages) and Jo. Chamberlin plays Charlie, the other fan, who falls in love with the resistant Shear, as well as some supporting roles from the life of West (W.C. Fields, etc.). Stillman plays various men, historical and otherwise, in West's wife.
Dirty Blonde began at Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop before it transferred to Broadway. All three actors won Tony nominations for their performances. Lapine was also nominated and the show was a candidate for Best Play. Shear recently starred in a Washington, DC, bow of Blonde. Sally Mayes took over the role at the end of the run and continued with it as the production began a national tour. Shear went on to star in the briefly-on Broadway The Smell of the Kill. Chamberlin jumped from Dirty Blonde to Seussical, for which he netted another Tony nom.