Okieriete Onaodowan Says He Will Not Return to The Great Comet

Broadway News   Okieriete Onaodowan Says He Will Not Return to The Great Comet The Hamilton alum will play his final performance in the new musical August 13.
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Okieriete Onaodowan Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Hamilton alum Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, whose stint in Broadway's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 was cut short to allow Tony winner Mandy Patinkin to step into the role of Pierre, posted a message on Instagram stating that he will not return to the production following his final performance August 13.

Earlier in the week, Great Comet producer Howard Kagan issued a statement about Patinkin's casting and the possibility of Onaodowan's return. Kagan said, “This continues our show's remarkable history of having great actors and singers see the show as audience members, only to tell us they are inspired to join the cast! Whenever possible we will accommodate them as we did here with Mandy and his Homeland TV schedule. Oak, who was scheduled to appear as Pierre for this period graciously agreed to make room for Mandy, and we sincerely hope that Oak will return to us in the fall or winter. He is a terrific Pierre.”

Read: GREAT COMET PRODUCER EXPLAINS OKIERIETE ONAODOWAN'S DEPARTURE, HOPES HE'LL RETURN IN THE FUTURE

Onaodowan's post reads, “I always try to speak from my heart with love after listening. I have listened. I'm more than grateful for all the love and support the community and fans have shown me. It makes what we do and deal with as artists easier when you know many people do indeed have your back and that you are valued for your work. In spite of everything, I am grateful to have had the time to bring this character to life with a remarkable cast that truly make the Imperial Theater a sacred place every night. My pops would always tell me to be aware of the company you keep. I'm fully aware of the remarkable talents this cast holds, with Denee [Benton] at the helm. My work is just a reflection of what they bring, have brought and will continue to bring, be it me, Mandy, whomever is co-pilot to Denee. AUGUST 13th WILL BE MY LAST SHOW! I will not be returning. So make room in your schedule between now and Aug 13th. Come through, have a drink, and let's celebrate the time we have because as always, that's all we are guaranteed. We make the most of the gifts we are given and I'm driven to deliver a defining moment in time, with every line I let loose on stage.”

I always try to speak from my heart with love after listening. I have listened. I'm more than grateful for all the love and support the community and fans have shown me.  It makes what we do and deal with as artists easier when you know many people do indeed have your back and that you are valued for your work. In spite of everything, I am grateful to have had the time to bring this character to life with a remarkable cast that truly make the Imperial Theater a sacred place every night.  My pops would always tell me to be aware of the company you keep.  I'm fully aware of the remarkable talents this cast holds, with Denee at the helm.  My work is just a reflection of what they bring, have brought and will continue to bring, be it me, Mandy, whomever is co-pilot to Denee. AUGUST 13th WILL BE MY LAST SHOW! I will not be returning. So make room in your schedule between now and Aug 13th. Come through, have a drink, and let's celebrate the time we have because as always, that's all we are guaranteed.  We make the most of the gifts we are given and I'm driven to deliver a defining moment in time, with every line I let loose on stage. #MynameisOak #TheHomiesRollDEEP #TheFansMadeRoom #WeAreTheChange #IPierredAndProspered #MyPierreWillPerish #August13th #OnwardsAndUpwords #KatyPerry #SkateyPierre?

A post shared by TheIncredibleOak (@oaksmash) on

Patinkin is scheduled to begin August 15 and continue through September 3.

Read: WHERE SHOULD YOU SIT TO SEE NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812?

Onaodowan’s Broadway credits also include Rocky and Cyrano de Bergerac. His Off-Broadway work includes Hamilton at the Public, Luce, Neighbors, and Young Jean Lee’s The Shipment. He was also in the first national tour of American Idiot.

To purchase Great Comet tickets, click here. For discount tickets on select performances, click here.

Created by three-time Tony nominee Dave Malloy and directed by Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin, The Great Comet officially opened at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street) November 14, 2016.

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