Come From Away cast member Rodney Hicks, who has been part of the Tony-nominated ensemble musical since its 2015 world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, has departed the Broadway production after being diagnosed with the neurological disorder Spasmodic Dysphonia.
The disorder affects the vocal cords, and as a result, Hicks says he is no longer able to sing.
Hicks, who has appeared on Broadway in Rent, Jesus Christ Supserstar and The Scottsboro Boys, went public with the news in an August 1 Facebook post.
Hicks wrote, “I have a neurological disorder called Spasmodic Dysphonia. It is in the dystonia family and [a]ffects the voice. Due to this condition I can no longer sing. I can act, write, teach and more. But my time as a professional singer for the stage has completed its run. I am overjoyed by all that has been learned and accomplished in these 24 years in musical theatre. Our Extraordinary producers and Everyone at Come From Away have been there for me every step of the way. It's all been absolutely beautiful. I couldn't have asked for more.”
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In mid-July Hicks told fans via his official Facebook page that he was leaving Come From Away, but did not disclose the reason for his departure. He also stated that actor De’Lon Grant would replace him in the role of Bob. Grant, who will make his Broadway debut with Come From Away, joins the production August 4. Understudy Josh Breckenridge has been playing the role since Hicks’ departure on June 14.
Hicks made his Broadway debut in the original cast of Rent, and he appears as Benny in the live Broadway film of the musical. As playwright and director, he has been developing his new play NC-17 with readings in New York City, Portland Center Stage, and Seattle Repertory Theatre.