Dean is temporarily stepping in for the musical's leading man, London actor Tam Mutu, who fell ill April 2, prompting producers to cancel the Thursday evening performance only three hours before show time.
The decision to cancel the performance with such late notice was due to insufficient rehearsal time for the understudy. The production, which began previews March 27 at the Broadway Theatre, has played only three performances.
Following the announcement of the April 2 cancellation, Dean was swiftly rehearsed in order to take on the starring role of Yurii Zhivago at tonight's performance.
The Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century faced the same dilemma last month when star Peter Gallagher was sidelined with a sinus infection, forcing the cancellation of a performance. The actor's understudy was swiftly rehearsed and performances resumed the following day.
Based on the 1958 novel by Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago will officially open on Broadway April 21. The stage production of Doctor Zhivago features the work of bookwriter Michael Weller (Moonchildren, Loose Ends), composer Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) and lyricists Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and Amy Powers (Lizzie Borden). It is directed by Tony Award winner Des McAnuff.
Mutu, the West End leading man known for his roles in Les Misérables, Love Never Dies and the Donmar Warehouse production of City of Angels, is making his Broadway debut with the production.
According to producers, "Dr. Zhivago is an epic romance set during the final days of Czarist Russia, the First World War and the chaos of the Russian revolution. Raised as an aristocrat, Zhivago is a political idealist, physician and poet whose life is tossed by the tides of history as he is torn between a life with his devoted wife, Tonia Gromeko and the passionate and mysterious Lara Guishar. Zhivago is not alone in his yearnings for Lara, competing for her affections with the young revolutionary Pasha Antipov, and the aristocrat Viktor Komarovsky. Dr. Zhivago celebrates the strength of love and art, in the face of political oppression, war and revolution."