Tony Award nominee Gavin Lee is breaking out his white tie and tails to join the West End cast of Top Hat, the tap-dancing musical based on the 1935 movie starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Lee, who currently stars as Bert in the Broadway production of Mary Poppins, will begin his run as American tap dancer Jerry Travers on February 5, 2013, replacing current star Tom Chambers.
Lee will take a leave of absense from Mary Poppins beginning January 6, and is scheduled to return to the musical in August. Additionally, Charlotte Gooch will replace current Top Hat star Summer Strallen as Dale Tremont on November 27.
In Top Hat, tap dancer Travers arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont, the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart. The current cast of Top Hat includes Martin Ball, Vivien Parry, Ricardo Afonso and Stephen Boswell.
In addition to Mary Poppins, Lee has appeared on the West End in Crazy for You, Peggy Sue Got Married, Me and My Girl, Contact and Oklahoma. Gooch has appeared on tour in Dirty Dancing, Grease and Cats.
The stage version of this screwball comedy includes five Irving Berlin songs from the original film—“Isn’t This A Lovely Day,” “Cheek To Cheek,” “No Strings,” “Piccolino” and the title song, “Top Hat (White Tie And Tails)”—as well as additional songs from the Berlin catalog like “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” and “I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket.” With music and lyrics by Berlin, Top Hat is based on the screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott, adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques.
Set designs are by Hildegard Bechtler, with costume designs by Jon Morrell, lighting design by Peter Mumford, musical direction by Daniel Jackson, musical supervision by Richard Balcombe, new orchestrations by Chris Walker and sound by Gareth Owen.