DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
A NEW MUSICAL BASED ON THE HIT MGM MOVIE
WITH THE SONGS OF DEBORAH HARRY & BLONDIE
STARRING KELLY PRICE & EMMA WILLIAMS
WRITTEN & CONCEIVED BY PETER MICHAEL MARINO
DIRECTED BY ANGUS JACKSON
TO OPEN IN LONDON AT THE NOVELLO THEATRE
ON 16 OCTOBER, WITH A PRESS NIGHT ON 15 NOVEMBER 2007
LEANNE BEST, MARK MCGEE, ALEC NEWMAN & JONATHAN WRATHER JOIN CAST
News release: 16 October 2007
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN will open in London at the Novello Theatre on 16 October, with a press night on Thursday 15 November. This quirky love story is set in New York City’s vibrant Lower East Side and driven by the pulsating energy of classic Blondie songs. Based on the smash hit 1980’s movie, this new musical is a whirlwind fairytale of mistaken identity, magic shows and rock ‘n’ roll. Featuring all the best-loved Blondie tracks, including Call Me, Heart of Glass, Rapture, One Way or Another, Sunday Girl, Atomic, The Tide is High, Dreaming and Hanging on the Telephone, the production will also introduce Moment of Truth, a new song by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein, written especially for this feel-good romantic comedy musical.
Roberta Glass, a suburban New Jersey housewife, escapes her humdrum life by reading the personal ads placed by Susan, a street-smart New York City drifter, and her freewheeling boyfriend Jay. Through a quirky twist of fate, Roberta and Susan unexpectedly swap lives and are plunged into a madcap world of jewel heists, magic shows and rock ‘n’ roll. The collision of their identities takes them on a wild ride of transformation and discovery until they realise that just when you think you know where your life is headed, something magical happens and turns it all around…
Before there was Madonna and Gwen Stefani, Debbie Harry was rock’s reigning blonde pin-up icon, and both are quick to acknowledge her inspiration, as are countless female (and male) rockers since. The ultimate pop-rock diva, Deborah Harry became an icon of the new wave scene and a queen of New York , incorporating the influence of culture pioneers like Andy Warhol, Giorgio Moroder and Fab Five Freddy into her fashion, look and, particularly, sound. With Blondie, she and Chris Stein brought the worlds of disco and rock together with Heart of Glass and Call Me and broke ground by combining hip-hop and pop on Rapture.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN will star Kelly Price as ‘Roberta’ and Emma Williams as ‘Susan’. Kelly Price has starred in the title role of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice at the Watermill Theatre and as ‘Sarah Brown’ in Michael Grandage’s production of Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre and has also appeared in Mamma Mia. Emma’s most recent theatre credits include ‘Johanna’ in Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall’, ‘Fran Kubelik’ in Promises, Promises at the Sheffield Crucible and ‘Truly Scrumptious’ in the original production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. She has also starred with Steve Coogan in the British film The Parole Officer.
The show also stars Leanne Best, Mark McGee, Alec Newman and Jonathan Wrather. Leanne Best (‘Leslie’) has credits which include Unprotected (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), Solitary Confinement (King’s Head), The Flint Street Nativity and Popcorn (Liverpool Playhouse). Mark McGee’s (‘Jay’) theatre roles include ‘Jimmy’ in Thoroughly Modern Millie, ‘Marilyn’ in Taboo, ‘Rusty’ in Starlight Express and ‘Amos’ in Whistle Down The Wind (all West End).
Alec Newman’s (‘Des’) film credits include Staring at the Sun, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, The Gene Generation with Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway and he has played leading roles in Frank Herbert’s Dune, the miniseries Frankenstein and in BBC 4’s acclaimed “The Reichenbach Falls”. His theatre credits include ‘Courtine’ in The Soldier’s Fortune and ‘Andre’ in Andorra (both Young Vic) and ‘Mick’ in Plenty opposite Cate Blanchett (Albery Theatre). Jonathan Wrather (‘Gary’) has been a series regular in Coronation Street (‘Joe Carter’) and Crossroads (‘Sam Delaney’) and recently played the lead in the UK tour of When Harry Met Sally.
The cast includes Lucy Banfield, Matthew Boulton, Chloe Campbell, Matt Flint, Alex Gaumond, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Kaisa Hammarlund, Paul Hazel, Christine Holman, Steven Houghton, Toussaint Meghie, Twinnie-Lee Moore, Steven Serlin, Chris Piper, Laura Scott, Lincoln Stone and Gemma Whitelam.
The musical is written and conceived by American writer, director and actor Peter Michael Marino. His other writing projects include Hollywood Nurses, an homage to lesbian pulp novels of the 1950s, which had a sold out run off-Broadway and is currently in development with The Drama Department in NYC for a 2008 opening. Peter wrote, produced and performed the title role in the critically acclaimed cabaret spoof Lance Jonathan: All About Me!, and its sequel More About Me!, which were met with critical acclaim, were nominated for several Mac Awards and received the BACKSTAGE Bistro Award for Outstanding Achievement. He has also directed and produced a dozen NYC premieres. As an actor, Peter provided the comic relief for four years in the Off-Broadway smash STOMP.
The musical is directed by Angus Jackson. Jackson is an Associate Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, where he has just directed Waltz of the Torreadors and productions of Strindberg’s The Father in the Minerva Studio and Carousel in the main house. His work at the Royal National Theatre includes two plays by Kwame Kwei Amah, Fix Up and Elmina’s Kitchen. Elmina’s Kitchen subsequently played nationwide and transferred to the Garrick Theatre, and was also filmed for television, earning Angus a nomination as Best New Director at the 2005 BAFTA awards. Other credits include the European Premiere of Fuddy Mears at the Arts Theatre in the West End and the musical Promises, Promises at Sheffield Crucible. Recent ventures into film include the short films Old Street, written by Patrick Marber, and Running for River by Samuel Adamson.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN is choreographed by American Andy Blankenbuehler, whose work includes the current off-Broadway hit musical In The Heights, for which he won the Lortel, Outer Critics and the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Choreography. Other work includes the Broadway revival of The Apple Tree, the new Broadway-bound musical Waiting For The Moon, the world premiere of the musical A Little Princess and the Paper Mill Playhouse production of A Wonderful Life.
Set and costume designs are by Tim Hatley, with lighting design by Hugh Vanstone, sound design by Bobby Aitken and Brian Beasley and orchestrations by Martin Koch.
The show is produced in London by Susan Q Gallin, Ron Kastner, Mark Rubinstein, Joseph Smith for Old Vic Productions with Peter Kane, Nordby/Rawley Productions, Mary Lu Roffe in association with MGM On Stage, Darcie Denkert and Dean Stolber and by special arrangement with Deborah Harry.
For further information please contact:
Katherine Camps or Rhian Davies at Public Eye Communications.
Tel: 020 7351 1555 or email:
Monday – Thursday and Saturday 8pm, Friday 5pm & 8.30pm, Saturday Matinees 3pm
No performances 22, 23 and 29 October
Tickets priced between £15.00 and £55.00. £10 off top two prices during Previews.
Novello Theatre Box Office 0870 950 0921
Please call the Box Office for Christmas Schedule
Visit the Desperately Seeking Susan MySpace page and the Official Desperately Seeking Susan Website for more information, to book tickets, and to listen to the soundtrack. The soundtrack is expected to be released in the autumn of 2007.