Lisa Gay Hamilton, the star of Lorena Gale's Angelique, Manhattan Class Company's final presentation of the 1998-99 season, will leave the production after the June 23 performance. Her sudden departure comes only days after the show opened on June 17 (after previews from June 8). Hamilton left to take a role in a television movie, said a spokesman for the show.
Hamilton will be replaced by Patrice Johnson. Derek Anson Jones directs.
The show represents a quick homecoming for Jones, who directed the multi-award winning Wit at MCC earlier this season. Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play is currently playing to sold-out crowds at the Union Square Theatre. Since Wit, Jones has piloted Measure for Measure for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter for Long Wharf Theatre.
Hamilton won an Obie and Clarence Derwent Award for her performance in Athol Fugard's Valley Song a few seasons back. Her other New York credits include The Piano Lesson on Broadway and Family of Mann at Second Stage. Hamilton is a regular on the TV series "The Practice."
Also in the cast are Earl Baker, Jr., Angel Desai, Jonathan Fried, Pamela Nyberg, Jonathan Walker and Jason Weinberg. Angelique's plot, drawn from a true incident, is set in eighteenth century Montreal and concerns Marie Joseph Angelique, an African slave struggling against oppression.
Like Edson, Gale is a first-time playwright and an award-winning one: Angelique won Canada's duMaurier National Playwriting Competition in 1995.
Call (212) 727-7765 for more information.
-- By Robert Simonson