The screen-to-stage adaptation is the second musical in a row to shutter prematurely at the Novello. The Broadway transfer of the five-time Tony Award-winning The Drowsy Chaperone closed there in August just two months after its West End premiere (See News, 9 Jul 2007).
A statement released today said: “The producers wish to thank the talented cast, creative team and company for all their hard work and dedication to this production. Despite fantastic performances and enthusiastic audiences, the ticket sales have not been sufficient, and the producers have had to make the difficult decision to close the show.”
Set in 1979, 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 Susan herself. Things get complicated when, after buying Susan’s jacket, Roberta is knocked unconscious. Awaking with amnesia, she assumes she is Susan, who is also being desperately sought by the mob.
Amongst the Blondie hits included in the stage version, conceived and written by American Peter Michael Marino, are “Hanging on the Telephone”, “The Tide Is High”, “Heart of Glass”, “Call Me”, “Rapture” and “One Way or Another”. Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein also penned a new ballad, “Moment of Truth”, especially for the show.
Emma Williams and Kelly Price star as Susan and Roberta, the roles created on screen by Madonna and Rosanna Arquette. The cast also features Leanne Best (Leslie), Mark McGee (Jay), Alec Newman (Dez) and Jonathan Wrather (Gary). The musical is directed by Angus Jackson and designed by Tim Hatley, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and choreography by Andy Blankenbuchler. It’s produced in the West End by Susan Q Gallin, Ron Kastner, Mark Rubinstein and Old Vic Productions.
Michael Barker-Caven’s revival of William Nicholson’s award-winning 1990 play Shadowlands, starring Charles Dance and Janie Dee, is now due to move into Novello for a limited holiday season from 21 December 2007. It’s currently running in the West End at Wyndham’s Theatre but must leave there on 15 December to make way for the return of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys (See News, 9 Aug 2007).
- by Terri Paddock