In a moment even beyond those in the old Ruby Keeler/Dick Powell musicals, actor Eric Jensen stepped in, with just hours of rehearsal, to the demanding lead role of Harpagon in The Village Theatre's The Miser.
The production, which opened Jan. 22, was notified early morning on Saturday Jan. 30 that leading actor John X. Deveney had been taken ill and would be out of the show for the weekend. Actor Eric Jensen who had been designated as understudy, but never rehearsed in the part, worked solo with Stage Manager Alan Frey for several hours (with director Jeff Steitzer across town in previews for The Seattle Repertory Theatre's Private Eyes) and then went into a put-in rehearsal at 5 PM with the rest of the ensemble.
"It was the actor's nightmare" says show pianist David Austin. "We played the show as if we all knew an understudy was on, and despite a lot of mistakes the audience bought into it, and gave us a standing ovation. Eric was incredible, I really admire how he pulled it off."
Jensen went on again for two Sunday Feb. 1 performances, and their is no definite word as to when Deveney will return.
The Miser, at the Village Theatre, 303 Front St., N in Issaquah runs through Mar. 1. For further information call (425) 392-2202.-- By David-Edward Hughes