And, while rumours that Madonna (Arquette’s film co-star) and Debbie Harry of Blondie (whose songs provide the musical’s backdrop) were also in attendance proved ultimately untrue, there were enough dyed-blonde doppelgangers amongst the first-nighters to keep people guessing.
Desperately Seeking Susan centres on bored New Jersey housewife Roberta Glass who spots a personal ad entitled “Desperately Seeking Susan” and heads off to Manhattan in search of the exciting, street-smart Susan and her boyfriend Jay. Amnesia, a collision of identities and a clash with the mob ensure a wild ride.
Kelly Price and Emma Williams star as Roberta and Susan, the parts created on screen by Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, in a cast that also features Mark McGee (as Jay), Alec Newman (Des), Jonathan Wrather (Gary Glass) and Leanne Best (Leslie).
The musical has a book by American Peter Michael Marino and, in addition to a back catalogue of hits such as “Atomic”, “Call Me”, “Dreaming” and “Hanging on the Telephone”, features a new ballad, “Moment of Truth”, written especially by Blondie for the musical. The premiere production is directed by Angus Jackson and designed by Tim Hatley, with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler. The musical is presented in the West End by Susan Gallin, Ron Kastner, Mark Rubinstein and Old Vic Productions.
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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the curtain call at the Novello Theatre and the post-show party at Heaven along with the Desperately Seeking Susan company, Rosanna Arquette and other first night guests including Penny Lancaster, Sean Foley, Hofit Golan, Linzi Stoppard, Liz Fuller, Sarah Parrish and DJ Jodie Harsh.
- by Terri Paddock