Dame Judi Dench returns to Amy's View today, July 6, to finish the last two weeks of the play's run. Dench flew home to London on June 24 to be with her husband, actor Michael Williams, who was ill. According to the New York Times, Williams had been recently suffering from pleurisy, an inflammation of the linings of the lungs.
"I am devastated to disappoint anyone who came to see me in the play," said Dench in a statement two weeks ago, "but because of the circumstances I am unable to perform."
Dench also bowed out of the June 23 performance of the David Hare play, resulting in a mass exodus from the Barrymore Theatre, leaving the ushers to move the remaining theatregoers from the mezzanine into the orchestra.
Dench's understudy, Jennifer Harmon, performed the role of theatrical legend Esme Allen. Harmon, a member of APA-Phoenix Repertory for the last six years, has performed on Broadway in The School for Scandal, The Sisters Rosensweig, Rumors and Blithe Spirit. Off-Broadway credits include Sylvia, In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe, Learned Ladies and Hot L Baltimore.
Dench was only the latest high-profile Broadway star to bow out in recent months. During the 1998-1999 season, both Nicole Kidman and Brian Dennehy became sick, causing the cancellation of several performances of, respectively, The Blue Room and Death of a Salesman. Ken Page has taken over for stroke-stricken Ron Taylor in It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, while Marian Seldes did the same for Irene Worth in Ring Round The Moon.
Ticket holders interested in obtaining a refund for missed performances may do so at the Barrymore Theatre or by returning tickets to P.O. Box 998, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108 0998. Include credit card information and billing address on credit card purchases.