Nathan Lane will be resting his vocal cords for a little while longer. The Tony-nominated star of The Producers has been out of the show since Sunday's matinee "on vocal rest," according to a spokesperson, who added that Lane will miss both of today's performances but is expected to be back in the show on Thursday evening, May 31.
Understudy Ray Wills has been appearing in the four performances that Lane will miss. Audience members for those performances can either stay for the show, leave and get their money back at the box office, or leave and book another date to see the show (although The Producers' huge popularity means they'll have to wait weeks or months before seats are available). Lane and co-star Matthew Broderick are expected to be in all the performances (including Sunday's matinee) from now up till their co hosting of the Tony Awards on Sunday night.
In other Producers news, the Mel Brooks-Thomas Meehan-Susan Stroman smash Broadway musical is hoping to open a London production in early 2003. "It's looks the first three months of 2003," said Steve Baruch, part of the Frankel/Baruch/Viertel/Routh Group, one of the producers behind the monster hit. Baruch spoke to PBOL at the May 16 Tony Nominees Luncheon at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.
"A lot of that has to do with Susan Stroman's schedule," he continued. "Contact is all over the place. And now the Harry Connick, Jr. Show," Thou Shalt Not, which will hit Broadway this fall, under Stroman's direction.
"The U.S. tour will precede London," Baruch added. Casting for both tour and London has not been addressed. No specific London theatre has been targeted, but Barach said, "SFX is a partner here and they have a great presence in London, including a producing-managing arm there."
The Producers, which has proved the biggest sensation to reach Broadway since The Lion King, collected a record 15 Tony nominations on May 7. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick star as shyster producers, Bialystock and Bloom, alongside Roger Bart, Gary Beach, Cady Huffman and Brad Oscar.
The Producers boasts designer Robin Wagner on sets, William Ivey Long on costumes, Peter Kaczorowski on lighting and Steve Kennedy on sound. Glen Kelly serves as musical arranger and supervisor; Patrick Brady is musical director and vocal arranger. Doug Besterman provided the orchestrations.
The musical is being produced by Rocco Landesman, SFX Theatrical Group, the Frankel, Viertel, Baruch, Routh Group, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Rick Steiner, Robert F X Sillerman and Mel Brooks, in association with James D. Stern/Douglas Meyer and by special arrangement with Studio Canal.