Ruth Williamson, a bright comic spot in the current hit revival of The Music Man, has left the show due to health reasons, she told Playbill On-Line.
"I have terminated my contract with The Music Man by mutual and amicable agreement with my producers, Dodgers Productions," Williamson said. "The reason is medical. During the course of my run with the show, I developed a severe infection on my scalp."
She added, "I tried three times to take time off to heal, but each time I returned, the infections came back with a vengeance."
Three wig changes and 10 hat changes were part of Williamson's daily routine playing the Mayor's wife, Eulalie McKechnie Shinn, she said.
"The Dodgers, along with [Susan] Stroman, were a class act," she told Playbill On-Line. "They were willing to do whatever I needed to get well and return to the show. But it became evident that the only way I would really heal would be with an extended leave. My doctors advised me to leave the show for at least three to six months. I decided that it was in everyone's best interest if I just stepped down. It seemed unfair to the show to keep playing 'wait and see,' and frankly, I was exhausted from trying to hurry up and get well." Williamson said that Ruth Gottschall (The Goodbye Girl, Legs Diamond, Cabaret, Prince of Central Park) is expected to replace her.
"I know Ruthie well, and I could not be happier for her," said Williamson. "I hope that the theatrical community will embrace her as they have me, and I pray that The Music Man has a long and joyous run. I have loved every minute of my experience with this show, and as soon as I heal, I look forward to my return to the New York scene."
Williamson's work has been seen on Broadway in Epic Proportions, Little Me, Guys and Dolls, Smile, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and the original Annie, and Off-Broadway in Queen Amarantha, The Good Times Are Killing Me and DuBarry Was a Lady at Encores!