Anastasia Barzee, formerly Ellen of Broadway's Miss Saigon and an Emma Carew of Jekyll & Hyde, steps into the shoes of Tony Award nominee Jennifer Laura Thompson to play Hope Cladwell in Urinetown Dec. 30.
Thompson is taking a leave from the satiric musical comedy Dec. 29 to appear in Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish at Off-Broadway's Second Stage. Barzee's credits also include playing Betty in the Glenn Close company of Sunset Boulevard.
Nancy Opel, who originated the Broadway role of the salty public amenities officer, Miss Pennywise, in the musical comedy, Urinetown, is taking a three-month leave of absence beginning Jan. 26, 2003, but the stall door has been left open for her to return in late April.
Victoria Clark, remembered for her work in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Titanic, will step into the stained shoes of Miss Pennywise, who sings "It's a Privilege to Pee" in the Tony winning show at the Henry Miller Theatre. Opel is said to be joining the cast of David Ives' Polish Joke for Manhattan Theatre Club.
On the eve of the Dec. 4 500th performance of Urinetown, a spokesman for the show confirmed Thompson will take a 10-week leave from the show Dec. 29, aiming to return March 18, 2003. *
Hunter Foster will remain in Urinetown as Bobby Strong through March, after which he's expected to play Seymour in the Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors.
The week of Nov. 25, Urinetown had its best box office week yet, grossing $372,186 — $14,000 under the gross potential.
Urinetown won 2002 Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Score and Best Director of a Musical.