Drowsy Chaperone to Launch National Tour in September
By Andrew Gans
The national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone will launch in September in Toronto, where the award-winning musical was first seen in popular developmental productions.
Drowsy Chaperone — which features a Tony-winning book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and a Tony-winning score by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison — was a sleeper hit at the 1999 Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival before transferring to a commercial run at Toronto's Winter Garden Theatre. It was later further developed with American collaborators and producers, who aimed it to Broadway.
After a test run in Los Angeles, the musical opened at Broadway's Marquis Theatre May 1, 2006, and ended up winning five 2006 Tony Awards.
Dancap Productions Inc., the Toronto presenter, has promised Canadian star Bob Martin in the role he created. He's expected to launch the tour but no announcement has been made yet about him playing it in other markets.
After the tour launches at Toronto's Elgin Theatre (Sept. 19-Oct. 14), Drowsy will play more than 30 cities in the United States, including Cleveland, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Atlanta, Hartford, Pittsburgh, St. Paul, Houston and Los Angeles. Casting and the complete itinerary will be announced in the coming months.
The Drowsy Chaperone is directed and choreographed by Tony Award nominee Casey Nicholaw (Spamalot). Bob Martin originated the role of Man in Chair on Broadway, and he will re-create his performance for the show's West End premiere, beginning May 14 at the Ivor Novello Theatre.
"To chase his blues away," read Drowsy press notes, "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 creative team also includes scenic design by David Gallo, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, sound design by Acme Sound Partners, orchestrations by Larry Blank, dance and incidental music arrangements by Glen Kelly, and music director/vocal arrangements by Phil Reno.
The tour is produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Boyett Ostar, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman.
Visit www.drowsychaperone.com for more information.
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