This road production of the Tony Award-winning musical comedy kicked off last September in the city where it was first conceived by Bob Martin as a cheeky wedding gift: Toronto.
With libretto by Martin and Don McKellar and tunes by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, the story about a reclusive, ardent musical theatre fan, Man in Chair, and his fictional 1928 favorite show, The Drowsy Chaperone, took home five 2006 Tonys, including Best Book and Best Score.
Martin reprised his Tony-nominated performance as Man in Chair for the duration of the tour's inaugural Toronto leg. Jonathan Crombie - who played the role on Broadway and was Gangster #2 in one of the earliest Canadian Fringe incarnations of the piece - stepped into the central seat for all subsequent stops.
Tony nominee Nancy Opel (Urinetown, Fiddler on the Roof) plays the title role of the Chaperone, and Georgia Engel ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show") re-creates her Broadway role of the absent-minded Mrs. Tottendale. The touring cast currently features Cliff Bemis as Mr. Feldzieg, Andrea Chamberlain (who understudied the role on Broadway) as Janet Van De Graaff, Robert Dorfman as Underling, Fran Jaye as Trix, Mark Ledbetter as Robert Martin, Marla Mindelle as Kitty, original Broadway cast member Dale Hensley as Aldolpho, twin brothers Paul Riopelle and Peter Riopelle as the Gangsters and Richard Vida as George.
Rounding out the cast are Kevin Crewell, Jen Taylor Farrell, Tiffany Haas, Alicia Irving, Jody Madaras, Chuck Rea, Mason Roberts and Jennifer Swiderski. The Drowsy Chaperone will play the Ahmanson through July 20. Upcoming tour stops include:
July 22-Aug. 17 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco
Aug. 19-24 at the Long Center in Austin, TX
Sept. 23-28 at the San Diego Civic Theatre
Oct. 1-12 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater
Oct. 14-26 at the Buell Theatre in Denver
Oct. 28-Nov. 16 at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle
For more information visit www.drowsychaperone.com.
Below are some photos of those in attendance at the July 9 opening-night reception:
All photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging