Brian Dennehy, star of the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, told Rosie O'Donnell he expects to be back on the boards for the Wednesday evening performance, March 17, assuming he passes a stress test given by his doctor this afternoon.
Dennehy was taken to the hospital early Sunday morning (March 14). Sources who saw the Saturday night performance of Salesman said Dennehy looked weak and flushed. Production spokesperson Richard Kornberg told PBOL (March 15), "He did the Saturday night performance and went home still feeling cruddy. He went to St. Claire's on Sunday morning, and they transferred him to St. Vincent because St. Vincent's has the Coronary care. They ran a bunch of tests, and they found Brian had hypertension. They had to do further tests, to make sure it wasn't a minor heart attack -- and it wasn't, it was hypertension."
Dennehy was released from the hospital March 16 and has been resting comfortably at home, according to Kornberg.
On the live Rosie O'Donnell show, sources say Dennehy sang an Irish song (in honor of St. Patrick's Day) and told the show host he'd had difficulty breathing and thought it wise to check into the hospital. Asked whether the strain of doing a wrenching three hour drama contributed to his medical scare, Dennehy told O'Donnell it wasn't so much doing Salesman as staying out late for food and drink after the show. His doctor has put him on a new regimen, leading Dennehy to joke that oatmeal would be a new staple of his diet.
The Sunday matinee (March 14) and the March 16 performances of Salesman were canceled. Dennehy has no understudy in Salesman. Dennehy is the veteran of many films, including "First Blood," "F/X," and "Cocoon," as well as stage productions of Galileo and The Iceman Cometh.
For tickets and information on Death of a Salesman call (212) 239 6200.