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Elaine Paige to Return to West End in The Drowsy Chaperone

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Multi award-winning actress and recording artist Elaine Paige will return to the West End to take the title role in the Broadway smash hit musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, with music by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, the five-time Tony Award winning musical will preview at the Novello Theatre from 14 May, with press night on 5 June and opening night on 6 June.

To chase his blues away, a modern day musical theatre addict known simply as "Man in Chair" drops the needle on his favourite LP – the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone. From the crackle of his hi-fi, the uproariously funny musical magically bursts to life on stage, telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters who double as pastry chefs.

Elaine Paige said: "I saw The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway and loved it and now I'm very excited about returning to the West End in this wonderfully funny, original new musical. I'm really looking forward to being part of a terrific ensemble piece and I think we're all going to have a lot of fun. I can't wait to get started!"

Bob Martin, Bookwriter and Man in Chair, said: "We're all thrilled with the success that Drowsy has had in New York, but as I was born in London there's no bigger thrill for me than to be returning to my home town gainfully employed!"

Kevin McCollum, Producer said: "The Drowsy Chaperone has been a labour of love for all of us who have had the pleasure to work on it, and I am delighted Ms Paige has joined our happy family. The Novello is a wonderful house for the production, and along with the entire producing and creative team, I am thrilled that Ms. Paige has agreed to be our "Drowsy Chaperone" here in the West End." Broadway producer Kevin McCollum's London Theatre Credits are Avenue Q which has recently been nominated for an Olivier Award, Rent and De La Guarda.

The Drowsy Chaperone opened at the Marquis Theatre in New York in May last year and has since become the most celebrated musical on Broadway receiving the most 2006 Tony Awards of any musical, including Best Book and Best Score, seven Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, four Outer Critics' Circle Awards including Outstanding Score and the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical.

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.

BIOGRAPHIES

Elaine PaigeThe Drowsy Chaperone

Multi award-winning actress, recording artist, producer and broadcaster Elaine Paige has starred in numerous productions in the West End and on Broadway and in concert internationally. She was brought to the public's attention when she created her award-winning performance as Eva Peron in Evita. Shortly afterwards she created the role of Grizabella in the original production of Cats and the classic song Memory became one of her many hit records.

Further theatre productions have included early performances in Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease and Billy, Chess (with her record breaking number one hit I Know Him So Well with Barbara Dickson), Anything Goes, Piaf, Sunset Boulevard in London and New York, Sir Peter Hall's production of The Misanthrope and a year long run in The King and I at the London Palladium. In 2003 she played Angèle in the Feydeau farce Where There's A Will directed by Sir Peter Hall and in 2004 she performed the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the New York City Opera.

Elaine Paige has performed in concert worldwide from The White House to The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, from the Bolshoi to Sydney Opera House and in March 2007 she will return to the Far East to perform in concert in Hong Kong. In 2004 she launched her new weekly radio show Elaine Paige on Sunday on BBC Radio 2. On television, as well as appearances on the Royal Variety Shows, she has hosted her own TV Specials. She has recorded 16 solo albums and 6 cast albums.

Her many awards include Society of West End Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical , The Variety Club Award for Show Business Personality of the year and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association. In 1995 she received the Order of the British Empire for services to Musical Theatre.

Bob Martin – Book and Man in Chair

Bob Martin received 2006 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his book and a 2006 Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in The Drowsy Chaperone. He was also nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his performance. His other theatre credits include An Awkward Evening With Martin and Johnson, The Good Life, Alumni Café, Skippy's Rangers (national tour). His film and television work includes Last Night, Torso, Made in Canada and Burnt Toast. Bob Martin has won many awards for his writing including the L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award and five Canadian Comedy Awards,

Casey Nicholaw - Director

Casey Nicholaw received the 2006 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his work on The Drowsy Chaperone. Monty Python's Spamalot (now also running at the Palace Theatre in the West End) marked Nicholaw's Broadway debut as a choreographer. His New York credits include Sinatra: His Voice, His World, His Way featuring the Rockettes (Radio City Music Hall), Bye Bye Birdie (City Center Encores!), Can-Can (musical staging, City Center Encores!) and Candide (NY Philharmonic, PBS "Great Performances").


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