Actor-writer Bob Martin, who won a Tony for co-writing the musical comedy's libretto, was previously confirmed to play Man in Chair when the show's national tour launches Sept. 19 at Toronto's Elgin Theatre. It's not known if Martin will play dates beyond his Ontario hometown, but Engel ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show") is expected to stick around.
Engel and Martin originated their roles in director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw's production in Los Angeles in 2005-06 and moved with it to Broadway in spring 2006.
In Drowsy Engel plays an absent-minded dowager who exchanges spit takes with her butler. She also sings the charming duet, "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. On television, she played Georgette in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (two Emmy nominations). Recently, she appeared as Pat McDougal in "Everybody Loves Raymond" (three Emmy nominations).
The tour schedule includes the following engagements, with more to be announced:
Bob Martin helped develop Drowsy in Toronto in the late 1990s. It began as a scrappy wedding-gift lark by his pals in the local theatre and comedy community. Martin, co-librettist Don McKellar and songwriters Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison further developed the piece (adding the central character, Man in Chair), and the show was a hit in several venues in Toronto.
Before long, American producers Kevin McCollum and Roy Miller swooped in — engaging an American creative team — and aimed it for Broadway. With Martin, Canadians McKellar, Morrison and Lambert all won Tonys for their writing, too.
The tour of The Drowsy Chaperone is part of Dancap Productions' first subscription season in Toronto.
The Broadway staging of The Drowsy Chaperone, directed and choreographed by Tony nominee Nicholaw, continues at the Marquis Theatre.
The daffy musical comedy concerns a hermetic musical theatre fetishist who plays his favorite obscure cast album for the audience, explaining its plot and production history. In his studio apartment, the fizzy 1920s musical The Drowsy Chaperone comes to life.