Foster, who originated the role of stage star Janet Van De Graaff in the new American production of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy first cooked up in Canada, is expected to join the company of the new Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan musical Young Frankenstein, although casting for that fall 2006 production has not officially been announced. She participated in an earlier workshop of the musical comedy, with songs by Brooks.
Foster won her Tony for Thoroughly Modern Millie and was also Tony nommed for Little Women and Drowsy.
"I think I've been spoiled for life on this show," Foster told Playbill.com. "It's just been an amazing group of adults. It's been a really important step in my life and my career and I feel like I've learned so much and grown a lot as a performer and I will miss all these people."
Foster played the 2005 Los Angeles tryout of Drowsy prior to Broadway. In "Show Off," her major turn in the musical, she does high kicks, high notes, cartwheels and more. In L.A., she famously broke her wrist during a number called "Accident Waiting to Happen."
Foster said she was looking forward to new projects coming up for her. "And," she said, "I have time off, which I'm excited about because I've been a little burned out. I only hope to have another experience like this in my career. It's been up there with one of the best experiences I've ever done. It's just a really special group of people, a great place to come to work." Foster will 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).
On April 17 Jo Anne Worley ("Laugh-In") joins the troupe as dowager Mrs. Tottendale, and John Glover steps in as Man in Chair.
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.