Andrews and Langella Back on Stage After Illness

News   Andrews and Langella Back on Stage After Illness
 
Two Broadway stars, Julie Andrews and Frank Langella, have returned to their respective shows after missing performances in late November due to illness.

Two Broadway stars, Julie Andrews and Frank Langella, have returned to their respective shows after missing performances in late November due to illness.

Andrews returned to Victor/Victoria Nov. 29 after missing more than a week of performances due to pneumonia.

The 61-year-old actress, who missed performances in January 1996 owing to illness, then two weeks in March 1996 due to gallbladder surgery, is scheduled to take a one-month vacation from the show Jan. 7-Feb. 2, when old friend Liza Minnelli will step in to take her place. (Anne Runolfsson, who played Roxanne in the Broadway musical, Cyrano, and Lily in the national tour of The Secret Garden, has been understudying Andrews.) Production spokesman Peter Cromarty denied the rumor that Liza would be doing a longer stint in the role than originally intended, to give Andrews more time to recuperate. He did say that original cast-member Gregory Jbara has returned to the show in the role of the beefy bodyguard.

Though Langella missed a couple of performances the week of Nov. 26, he was back in Broadway's Present Laughter by Friday, Nov. 29, and has been performing since.

When Langella fell ill on the previous weekend, producers cancelled the Sunday, Nov. 24 matinee rather than go on with an understudy. On the 26th, however, cast member Dave Cale subbed for Langella in the role of Gary Essendine. A spokesperson for the production, which is scheduled for an open run, said Langella had a cold.

Steve Ross, who opens the production by singing Noel Coward songs at the piano and then plays the butler in the play, missed the Nov. 22 performance but has otherwise been in the show.

Directed by Off-Broadway wunderkind Scott Elliott, the revival of Noel Coward's 1946 comedy opened Nov. 21.

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