The two Mother’s Day performances of Jewish Repertory Theatre’s Abie’s Island Rose in New York City were canceled due to the continuing respiratory illness of star Heather MacRae, who plays the Jewish mama in the world premiere musical.
Thinking on their feet, the creative team hoped to salvage the May 14 shows by inserting composer-director Doug Katsaros in the part, not in drag but with script in hand. Actors’ Equity nixed the notion, however, citing breach of contract without prior signing as understudy, according to a production source.
MacRae, who plays Madeline Feinman in the new tuner about a Jewish med student who falls for an Afro-Caribbean island nurse, is expected to be rested and ready for shows this coming week.
Performances of Abie’s Island Rose began April 29 at Playhouse 91 in Manhattan, presented by Jewish Repertory Theatre. Official opening was May 7.
Ron Sproat wrote the book, while Evans and Richard Engquist are co-lyricists. The musical’s title and premise are inspired by Anne Nichols’ hit 1922 comedy, Abie’s Irish Rose, about a Jewish boy and an Irish Catholic girl. Ran Avni is JRT’s artistic director. Madeline Gilford is associate producer of Abie’s Island Rose.
-- By Kenneth Jones