Shepherd was diagnosed with a tibial plateau fracture and a severe ankle sprain after she mistook the last step on a staircase and fell.
In a statement the actress said, "I am heartbroken. This has been a life’s dream of mine to play this part and I’ve studied for the last two and a half months so that when I came here I would be prepared for the intense two week rehearsal period and the show itself. I was in excellent shape both physically and mentally and this was just one of those freakish things that happen in life. I’ve only missed two days of work in my 40 year career. I’m just grateful that I didn’t break my neck...Those who work in theatre do it because they love the theatre and that was evident with everyone I had the opportunity to work with at North Carolina Theatre. They are simply top notch on every level and I will miss having the chance to continue working with them.”
Directed by NC Theatre artistic director Casey Hushion, performances are scheduled for May 7-14 in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.
Hello, Dolly!, suggested by Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, features a score by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart. Directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, the original production opened in January 1964 at the St. James Theatre, playing 2,844 performances before closing Dec. 27, 1970. The original cast featured Carol Channing, Eileen Brennan, David Burns, Jerry Dodge, Alice Playten, Charles Nelson Reilly and Ken Ayers. The musical won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress in a Musical (Channing). Tickets are $25-$75 and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information visit www.nctheatre.com.