Drake Bell Drops Out Of Toronto's 'Grease The Musical'
This article has been updated since it was first published.
Bad news for fans of Drake Bell who were hoping to see him in the Toronto production of Grease the Musical this week.
The 32-year-old American musician and actor was scheduled to guest star as Teen Angel for eight performances from July 5 to 8.
According to a source close to the production, Bell was allegedly barred from entering Canada due to his DUI convictions. Deborah Knight, publicist for Grease the Musical, confirmed in an email on Thursday: "He cannot get across the border."
Canada Border Services Agency, which will not comment on individual cases due to privacy laws, has said a person can be denied entry to Canada if they have a criminal conviction in another country.
But, on Friday, Bell's publicist Jarhett Hainje denied the star's DUI was an issue. "In fact, he has been to Canada multiple times since his DUI for several film projects," he said via email, although he did not name the projects. Hainje insisted the cancellation was because producers of Grease the Musical "didn't have the money to pay Drake."
An agent for Bell also insisted the actor's DUI record was not the reason for his cancellation.
Knight subsequently offered several alternative explanations for why Bell was a no-show. "He couldn't make it work with his tour schedule," she said, via email. Then, she claimed there was a "problem with [Actor's] Equity because he was not a member and they needed permission." Knight later said: "The Grease producers had an issue with the lack of rehearsal time and knew about the other issues."
Whatever the reason for the cancellation, Bell is the second of five scheduled guest Teen Angels to not appear in the Toronto production. Big Time Rush star Logan Henderson's June 24 to 29 run was scrapped, reportedly because producers couldn't meet his demands.
In September 2016, Bell was sentenced to four days in jail and four years of probation in connection to a pre-Christmas 2015 arrest for driving under the influence in Glendale, California. He was also convicted of DUI in 2010 following an arrest in San Diego in 2009.
The former star of the Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh has released three studio albums and a pair of EPs since 2005. Last month he released the single “Call Me When You’re Lonely” featuring Lil Mama.
Bell's cancellation is the latest blow to the Toronto production, which has been plagued by poor ticket sales. There is currently a buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer (use promo code BOGO40) and producers have scrapped some weekday shows.
Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish wraps up her run as Sandy on July 8 and will be replaced by Sarah Daniels for four performances from July 13 to 15, when the show closes.