There has been talk for a while that The Drowsy Chaperone, the quirky best-book/best-score winner at this year's Tony, would soon make its way to the West End. Then, this week, the Internet was a-buzz with news that auditions for the homage to 1920s musicals were going on in London. But the Broadway hit's producers will still only talk of a "prospective" run and won't reveal the dates, the theatre, or the cast members...
Not everyone is so tight-lipped. Actor John Partridge — or, at least, someone who has been pretending to be actor John Partridge for a long time — made an appearance on his fan message board this week to tell of his Drowsy success:
Hello everyone, I just wanted to let you all know that I have just agreed to appear in the Westend production of The Drowsy Chaperone, playing the leading role of Robert. We open at the Novello Theatre in early May 2007 with a stella company, Bob martin is coming from broadway , and I am truly excited! The rest of the company should be confirmed in the next few days. Love to you all, Johnny
In a later message, "John Partridge" notes that Robert's romantic interest Janet will be played by actress Summer Strallen, who, incidentally, is the sister of Scarlett Strallen, the West End's current Mary Poppins.
(Slight digression for theatre geeks: Sutton Foster, the Tony-winning actress who plays Janet on Broadway in Drowsy, also has a sibling in a concurrent Broadway show; her brother Hunter is currently in The Producers. All in the family, etc.)
So, is "John Partridge" telling the truth? The official line is still that there may or may not be a musical opening at some point in some location in London with some actors; there may be singing and dancing, but that cannot be confirmed at this moment in time. Only time will tell whether we can trust the Internet on this one, or if this is just wikiality.