Nathan Lane opened the show after Richard Dreyfuss’ withdrawal during rehearsals, and Lane’s short run was followed by Brad Oscar — a move that several observers thought might be a stop-gap until a star of Lane’s wattage could be found. It has now been announced, however, that Oscar will be followed in the role by Fred Applegate, an actor little-known to British audiences.
Applegate is very experienced as Max, having played him for over 800 performances on Broadway and on tour in America. His other stage credits include Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. British and American Equity are allowing him to appear at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane as part of an exchange program.
He will play alongside Lee Evans’ replacement as Bloom, John Gordon Sinclair. While not as well known as Evans, Gordon Sinclair won enduring fame in the U.K. for his turn in the 1981 film “Gregory’s Girl.” Since then, his West End bows have included the lead in the musical She Loves Me, a performance that won him an Olivier Award.
The pair will take over April 25. Original London cast members still in place include Nicolas Colicos as Franz Liebkind, James Dreyfuss as Carmen Ghia, Conleth Hill as Roger De Bris and Leigh Zimmerman as Ulla.