The musical, which is based on the 1985 film of the same name and features the hits of post-punk pop group Blondie, will officially open Nov. 15.
The cast is led by Emma Williams and Kelly Price in the roles respectively created by Madonna (as free-spirited Susan) and Rosanna Arquette (as housewife Roberta) in the film version. The stage company also features Leanne Best (Unprotected), Mark McGee (Thoroughly Modern Millie), screen and stage actor Alec Newman (The Soldier's Fortune) and television soap actor Jonathan Wrather (U.K. tour of When Harry Met Sally).
The musical is written and conceived by American writer, director and actor Peter Michael Marino, and the action remains set in New Jersey and New York City.
Angus Jackson, associate director of Chichester Festival Theatre, directs the production, which also boasts the debut of "Moment of Truth," a new song by Deborah Harry, whose blonde power rock stardom preceded that of Madonna and Gwen Stefani.
American Andy Blankenbuehler — whose work includes the Broadway-bound In the Heights, for which he won the Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk awards for Outstanding Choreography — choreographs. The creative team also includes Tim Hatley (sets and costumes), Hugh Vanstone (lighting), Bobby Aitken and Brian Beasley (sound) and Martin Koch (orchestrations).
The story centers on Roberta, a bored suburban housewife who finds adventure through the personal ads and her friendship with Susan, a New York City drifter.
Williams' most recent theatre credits includes Johanna in Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall, Fran Kubelik in Promises, Promises at the Sheffield Crucible and Truly Scrumptious in the original production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.
Price starred in the title role of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Watermill Theatre and as Sarah Brown in Michael Grandage's production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre and has also appeared in Mamma Mia!.
According to producers, the show features the classic catalogue of Blondie tracks woven into the "much-loved fish-out-of-water story." The hits include "Heart of Glass," "Atomic," "One Way or Another," "Dreaming" and "The Tide is High."
Librettist Marino's other writing projects include Hollywood Nurses, an homage to lesbian pulp novels of the 1950s, which played Off-Broadway and is currently in development with The Drama Department in NYC for a 2008 opening. He wrote, produced and performed the title role in the critically acclaimed cabaret spoof Lance Jonathan: All About Me!, and its sequel More About Me!, which were MAC Award-nominated.
The show is produced in London by Susan Q Gallin, Ron Kastner; Mark Rubinstein; Joseph Smith for Old Vic Productions with Peter Kane, Nordby/Rawley Productions, Mary Lu Roffe in association with MGM On Stage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber and by special arrangement with Deborah Harry.
For more information about Desperately Seeking Susan call (0)870 950 0921.