Officially, It's a Hit! Drowsy Chaperone Recoups Investment

News   Officially, It's a Hit! Drowsy Chaperone Recoups Investment Producers of the Tony Award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone announced Dec. 7 that they had recouped their $8 million investment less than seven months after opening on Broadway.
Tony winner Beth Leavel in The Drowsy Chaperone.
Tony winner Beth Leavel in The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo by Joan Marcus

The five-time Tony Award winner recouped its initial investment on Broadway in 30 weeks, paying back its capitalization during the week ending Nov. 26, 2006, following 272 performances (240 regular performances and 32 previews).

The daffy Canadian-created, American-enhanced musical comedy opened at Broadway's Marquis Theatre May 1, after previews.

The milestone should give creators and producers of fresh musicals some hope: The Drowsy Chaperone is an original, out-of-the-blue show penned by Broadway neophytes and featuring performers who, for the most part, don't have a high profile outside of the theatre community. It also boasts that unusual title and is not based on an already-existing property, like a novel or film.

The Drowsy Chaperone is produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Boyett Ostar, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman.

Producer Kevin McCollum said: "I am delighted that we were able to recoup in a relatively short 30-week period of time. It is a tribute to the authors, creative team, our brilliant cast and my fellow producers who all believed in the show from the beginning." The Drowsy Chaperone grossed $1,031,638 for the week ending Nov. 26, 2006.

The Drowsy Chaperone won five 2006 Tonys, including Best Book and Best Score. The musical 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.

A cast album from Ghostlight, which was just nominated for a Grammy Award, is in stores.

"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 production features Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein, Georgia Engel, Tony Award winner Sutton Foster, Edward Hibbert, Troy Britton Johnson, Eddie Korbich, Garth Kravits, Jason Kravits, Tony Award winner Beth Leavel, Kecia Lewis-Evans, Tony Award winner Bob Martin, Jennifer Smith, Lenny Wolpe, Andrea Chamberlain, Jay Douglas, Stacia Fernandez, Linda Griffin, Angela Pupello, Kilty Reidy, Joey Sorge and Patrick Wetzel.

For more information, visit www.drowsychaperone.com.