Lovely in the End: Georgia Engel Exits Drowsy Chaperone April 1

News   Lovely in the End: Georgia Engel Exits Drowsy Chaperone April 1
Georgia Engel will do her final spit-take in The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway April 1.

Georgia Engel as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone.
Georgia Engel as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo by Joan Marcus

The sweet-voiced actress widely known as Georgette in TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" originated the role of forgetful dowager Mrs. Tottendale in the musical comedy that has her exchange spit-takes with a butler character named Underling (first played by Edward Hibbert and now by Peter Bartlett). Engel, whose contract is up, has been with the show since its 2005 Los Angeles tryout.

She'll be replaced by Jo Anne Worley April 17, the same day John Glover joins the cast as Man in Chair, and Janine LaManna joins as Janet Van De Graaff (replacing Sutton Foster).

Stacia Fernandez and Linda Gabler will alternate in the Tottendale role prior to Worley's entrance.

As previously reported, Mara Davi, who currently plays Maggie in A Chorus Line, permanently takes the Janet role July 31.

A bonus track on the cast album of The Drowsy Chaperone features Engel and Hibbert in a duet, "I Remember Love," that was cut from the score prior to Broadway. Their surviving duet in the show is called "Love Is Always Lovely in the End." Engel launched her theatrical career playing Minnie Fay in Hello, Dolly! with Ethel Merman. She then joined the original production of House of Blue Leaves, and also appeared as Mickey in My One and Only. She co-starred as Sister Mary Leo in Nunsense: The 20th Anniversary Tour as well as Sister Amnesia in Nunsense and Nunsense Jamboree. Recently, she appeared as Pat McDougal in "Everybody Loves Raymond" (three Emmy nominations).


The Drowsy Chaperone 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.

In it, "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. 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 show is produced by Kevin McCollum, Roy Miller, Boyett Ostar, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman. A London production launches in May, and a North American national tour starts in the fall.


Georgia Engel (center) and company in <i>The Drowsy Chaperone</i>.
Georgia Engel (center) and company in The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo by Joan Marcus
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