"We are incredibly disappointed to share that due to an achilles injury beyond anyone's control, Dick Van Dyke will be unable to perform in his upcoming show Dick Van Dyke – Step in Time! – A Musical Memoir," according to a Geffen statement. "Obviously the Geffen Playhouse's top priority is to do what's best for Mr. Van Dyke, who is a longtime friend and supporter of the theatre, and as such, we have no choice but to cancel the production."
"I very much wish that circumstances allowed me to share my stories at the Geffen this winter," Van Dyke said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this injury is forcing me to be off my feet for a while. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to revisit this sometime in the future, but in the meantime, I thank everyone for their understanding and support."
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The world-premiere show that "highlights the artist's truly scrumptious six decades in the entertainment industry" was to play the Geffen in Los Angeles to Jan. 16, 2011. Opening night was to be Dec. 16.
The experience — "a living autobiography pulling stories and songs from Van Dyke's celebrated career," including Bye Bye Birdie on stage and screen, and the films "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang" — was co-written by Van Dyke and the play's director, Joshua Ravetch. The star might be best known for playing Cockney chimney sweep Bert in Walt Disney Pictures' "Mary Poppins" opposite Julie Andrews.
Van Dyke was joined on stage Dec. 8 by Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima and Mike Mendyke, three young singers who together with Van Dyke form the singing quartet "The Vantastix."
Step in Time!, a title borrowed from Richard and Robert Sherman's song and Van Dyke's signature dance number in "Mary Poppins," played the Geffen's intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.
In addition to his Tony Award for Bye Bye Birdie, Danville, IL, native Van Dyke has won five Emmy Awards. His television series "Diagnosis Murder" aired on CBS for eight seasons. His most recent film was "Night at the Museum," for which he was cast against type as a grumpy old man (he is seen performing dance moves behind the closing credits crawl). When his Bye Bye Birdie co-star Chita Rivera appeared in her own biographical show on Broadway, Van Dyke made a couple of guest appearances.