After a bout with laryngitis, Death Takes a Holiday star Julian Ovenden is withdrawing from the show for the remainder of its off-Broadway run. Understudy Kevin Earley, who has been starring as Prince Sirki/Death since July 19, including opening night on July 21, will continue in the role through the final show on September 4. The new musical from Tony-winning composer Maury Yeston began performances on June 10 at the Laura Pels Theatre, directed by Doug Hughes.
“With respect to the cast and the audiences, I have decided to withdraw from the production,” Ovenden said in a statement. “I have a great amount of respect for my fellow actors and I am deeply saddened to have to say goodbye.”
In addition to Earley, the cast of Death Takes a Holiday features Linda Balgord, Matt Cavenaugh, Mara Davi, Joy Hermalyn, Jay Jaski, Simon Jones, Rebecca Luker, Patricia Noonan, Jill Paice, Michael Siberry, Alexandra Socha, Don Stephenson and Max Von Essen.
In Death Takes a Holiday, it’s just after World War I and the loneliest of souls (Earley) arrives at an Italian villa disguised as a handsome young Prince, and for the first time experiences the joys and heartbreaks of life. But when he unexpectedly falls in love with a newly engaged young woman (Paice), the mysterious stranger discovers that love may in fact be stronger than death.