James Earl Jones Recovering From Pneumonia; Will He Return to Shore Up Golden Pond?

News   James Earl Jones Recovering From Pneumonia; Will He Return to Shore Up Golden Pond? James Earl Jones is recovering from pneumonia and, on doctors' orders, will not be appearing in Broadway's On Golden Pond the week of June 21. A provisional closing notice has been posted.

James Earl Jones in On Golden Pond.
James Earl Jones in On Golden Pond. Photo by Joan Marcus

Playbill.com learned June 21 that producers are posting a provisional closing notice for June 26 while they wait to see if Jones — a Tony Award nominee for his work in the production — will be well enough to return June 28 and keep the show going.

Jones, a beloved and respected American actor who has won two Tony Awards, is a major draw for the production, which co-stars Tony Award-winner Leslie Uggams.

The revival of the Ernest Thompson play dipped to low sales (some 36 percent of capacity June 13-19) after Jones missed performances starting June 15. Standby Charles Turner went on in his place as cranky, retired professor Norman Thayer and will continue this week.

Jones is recovering at home. If it becomes clear later this week that Jones can return the week of June 28, the provisional closing notice will come down and the show will continue its run.

The Leonard Foglia-directed production was nominated for 2005 Tony Award in the category of Best Revival (Play).

If he is unable to return next week, On Golden Pond will not be able to sustain additional weeks of losses and will close following the June 26 matinee for a total of 19 previews and 93 regular performances.

Award-winning veteran actor Charles Turner has performed major roles on and Off-Broadway, in regional theatres and on film and television. His Broadway credits include productions of Twelfth Night, The Little Foxes and Caesar and Cleopatra. His many starring roles include Troy in Fences, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, the title role in Othello and The Man opposite Marian Seldes in The Play About the Baby, among others.

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