London's Drowsy Chaperone to Close in August

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
July 6, 2007

The London production of the hit Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone will play its final performance at the Novello Theatre Aug 4.



The musical, which co-stars Bob Martin and Elaine Paige, opened in the West End May 14.

Producer Kevin McCollum said in a statement, "We are incredibly proud of The Drowsy Chaperone, which we have seen grow from a 30 minute vignette into a multi award-winning Broadway musical. London ticket sales for our show have been slower than needed to sustain a longer run at the Novello. Whilst regrettably having made the decision to close the show we are pleased to have brought this wonderfully original new musical to the West End with a first class company who have brought to life a production we are incredibly proud of."

As previously announced, Steve Pemberton, who is part of the award-winning comedy team The League of Gentlemen, will join the cast of the London Drowsy July 10. Pemberton will succeed original Broadway and London star — and Drowsy co-creator — Bob Martin in the role of Man in Chair.

The London cast also features Joseph Alessi (Aldolpho), Selina Chilton (Kitty), Enyonam Gbesemete (Trix), Nickolas Grace (Underling), Nick Holder (Feldzeig), Cameron Jack (Gangster 2), Sean Kingsley (George), Bob Martin (Man in Chair), Elaine Paige (Drowsy Chaperone), John Partridge (Robert Martin), Anne Rogers (Tottendale), Adam Stafford (Gangster 1) and Summer Strallen (Janet van de Graaff) with Nina French, Mark Goldthorp, Paul Iveson and Sherrie Pennington, and swings Kenneth Avery-Clark, Vanessa Barmby, Chris Bennett, Vivienne Carlyle, Mark Dickinson and Lincoln Stone.

Casey Nicholaw, who directed and choreographed the Broadway production at the Marquis Theatre, repeated those same duties in London. The original musical comedy has Tony-winning songs by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and a Tony-winning book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. The show won five 2006 Tony Awards.

The Drowsy Chaperone set designs are by David Gallo, costume designs are by Gregg Barnes, lighting is by Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, with sound design by Acme Sound Partners, orchestrations by Larry Blank and dance and incidental music arrangements by Glen Kelly.

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

"To chase his blues away," according to Drowsy Chaperone press notes, "a die-hard musical theatre fan drops the needle on his favourite cast album – the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone. From the crackle of his hi-fi, the outrageously funny musical bursts to life in his living room. What follows is the rip-roaring tale of a pampered starlet determined to give up show business to get married while her ruthless producer is intent on sabotaging the nuptials! Add to this a Latin lover, a debonair groom, an English butler, a pair of gangsters disguised as pastry chefs and a very tipsy chaperone and all manner of mix-ups and mayhem are set to ensue."

For ticket information call 0870 950 0935.

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The Broadway production of Drowsy continues to play the Marquis Theatre. The national tour launches Sept. 19 at Toronto's Elgin Theatre with Bob Martin as Man in Chair.