LONDON — Ewan McGregor has signed to play Sky Masterson in next year’s West End revival of Broadway musical classic “Guys and Dolls,” ending months of speculation that the singing and dancing star of pic “Moulin Rouge” would transfer those skills to the theater.
Venture will mark the first stage musical for the thesp, who last appeared on the West End in 1999 in the play “Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs.”
Howard Panter, co-producer of the £3 million ($5.55 million) production due to open in early June at the Piccadilly said McGregor “is a massive talent, and he sets the marker.”
Panter said “Will & Grace” star Megan Mullally had not yet signed to play Miss Adelaide, contrary to local press reports. “She wants to do it,” Panter said, but the sticking point remains scheduling the show around her TV commitments.
In virtually every role, Americans are on the short list alongside Brits. Harry Connick Jr. has already been mentioned as a possible replacement for McGregor, when the Scottish thesp leaves after 29 weeks. Kevin Kline has been mentioned as a possible Nathan Detroit.
“This is a musical fable of Broadway, for Chrissakes,” said Panter, explaining the lateral thinking, “not a musical fable of Ealing Broadway,” the West London suburb.
Michael Grandage will direct the venture, a co-production between Panter’s Ambassador Theater Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment, in association with the Donmar. Rob Ashford (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) is handling choreography. Christopher Oram and Howard Harrison are the designers.
The Frank Loesser musical classic was famously revived at London’s National Theater, directed by Richard Eyre, who later remounted his production in 1996.
This staging starts rehearsals April 4 and will start previews around May 23, with an opening expected several weeks later.