Sutton Foster, a Tony Award nominee for playing the young starlet Janet Van DeGraaff in the musical comedy at the Marquis Theatre, will leave the show April 15. (The theatre community buzz is that she'll be appearing in Mel Brooks' new musical, Young Frankenstein, but casting for that show has not been announced.)
In Drowsy she'll be replaced by Janine LaManna (Sweet Charity, Seussical) April 17 for three months (to July 29) before Mara Davi, who currently plays Maggie in A Chorus Line, takes the role permanently (on July 31).
Georgia Engel will shed her party dress as dowager Mrs. Tottendale April 1, and the cast will welcome daffy TV legend JoAnne Worley ("Laugh In") April 17. Stacia Fernandez and Linda Gabler will alternate in the Tottendale role prior to Worley's entrance.
Worley recently starred on the New York musical stage in the acclaimed Encores! production of Follies (singing "Who's That Woman?") and returns to Broadway for the first time in nearly 15 years since appearing in the revival of Grease!. She made her Broadway debut in The Billy Barnes People and was in the original cast of Hello, Dolly! as Carol Channing's standby. She also starred in the Broadway musical, The Prince of Central Park.
Janine LaManna recently appeared as Nickie in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity and was the quirky, earnest Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical. Mara Davi, currently starring as the clarion-voiced Maggie in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, appeared in the Encores! staging of Of Thee I Sing and starred as Peggy Sawyer in the U.S. and Japanese tours of 42nd Street.
The Drowsy Chaperone is 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.
In it, "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. 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. A London production launches in May, and a North American national tour starts in the fall.