Rumors have been swirling for years that Tony and Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush could take on the role of Man in Chair in a movie adaptation of The Drowsy Chaperone. The Canadian Press confirmed that the star will not only be starring in the film, but he’ll also serve as executive producer. Don McKellar (who co-wrote the musical’s book with original star Bob Martin) will adapt Drowsy for the big screen. No additional casting or filming dates have been announced.
Rush played Man in Chair in an Australian production of The Drowsy Chaperone at the Melbourne Theatre Company in 2010. He made his Broadway debut in Exit the King in 2009 and won a Tony Award for his performance. Rush won an Oscar for Shine, and garnered additional nominations for The King’s Speech, Quills and Shakespeare in Love. His film credits include The Eye of the Storm, The Warrior’s Way, The Green Lantern, Munich, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Frida, Finding Nemo and the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Featuring a Tony-winning score by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, the show within a show tells the story of an agoraphobic Broadway fanatic who listens to the cast album for the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone. As the recording plays, the characters magically appear in his apartment. The Drowsy Chaperone opened at Broadway's Marquis Theatre on May 1, 2006, and ran for 674 performances. The production garnered 13 Tony nominations and won four awards, including a Best Featured Actress in a Musical win for Beth Leavel. The Broadway cast also included Sutton Foster, Danny Burstein and Jennifer Smith.
Can’t get enough Drowsy? Click below to see a clip from the musical on the 2006 Tony Awards!