Savion Glover tiptoed out of his Tony-winning Broadway show Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk with zero publicity June 27.
Glover, who gave the defining performance of his career so far in the rap/tap/blues revue, took his final bow in the show that night and has not returned. He wasn't scheduled to leave the show for another two and a half weeks, but made an arrangement to do so earlier, production spokesperson Carol Fineman told Playbill On-Line.
Glover's central role in the show has been assumed by his longtime understudy, Baakari Wilder. Fineman told Playbill On-Line no other successor for Glover has been chosen.
The New York Times quoted Fineman July 3 saying that Glover had accepted offers for "other projects that required him to begin work immediately." These reportedly include starring in The Wall, a movie on the Showtime cable network; and a new "concert show" for Dodger Endemol Theatricals, in which he will star and for which he will design choreography.
As recently as the previous week, a spokesperson for the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, which produced the show, was refusing to say when Glover was leaving. Noise/Funk's business manager, Louise Foisey, told Playbill On-Line July 3, "It isn't really unusual for producers and a star to reach an agreement to terminate a contract early for professional reasons."
Fineman strongly denied industry rumors that the Glover departure was a dismissal, sparked by missed performances. Foisey said Actors' Equity had nothing on file about the Noise/Funk change. Fineman also said Glover was still connected with the show as its choreographer and would be choreographing the national tour.
Glover won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Choreography in the show, which was directed by George C. Wolfe. The groundbreaking musical tells the story of blacks in America from the feet up -- that is, through the evolution of African-American dance from the 18th century to the present. Using dance, poetry and drama, the show is framed as the saga of "'da beat" down through the decades.
Co-starring in Noise/Funk are Ann Duquesnay, Jeffrey Wright, Omar Edwards, Dule Hill, Jimmy Tate, Jared Crawford and Raymond King. The show opened Off-Broadway in November 1995 and moved to the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway in April 1996.