Natalie Portman, the young star of the Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank will leave the production on May 31. Production spokesman Bob Fennell said the rest of the cast, including George Hearn, Linda Lavin, Austin Pendleton, and Harris Yulin, would remain intact for the time being. Several possible replacements for Portman are being looked into, said Fennell, but no new Anne has been selected. The Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett Pulitzer Prize-winner opened at the Music Box Theatre on Dec. 4, 1997. Portman put a budding film career on hold to appear in The Diary of Anne Frank, which marked her stage debut. Her films include Beautiful Girls, The Professional and Everybody Says I Love You. The next few years may find her more famous than ever, as she has been cast in director George Lucas' upcoming trilogy of Star Wars "prequel" films.
James Lapine directed the production, which, in an adaptation by Wendy Kesselman, included much new material intended to introduce darker elements of the Frank story omitted from the original 1955 production.