Leslie Uggams Steps Into Golden Pond in D.C. After Diahann Carroll Takes Medical Leave

News   Leslie Uggams Steps Into Golden Pond in D.C. After Diahann Carroll Takes Medical Leave
Tony Award winner Leslie Uggams has stepped into rehearsals for the new staging of On Golden Pond to replace Tony Award winner Diahann Carroll, who withdrew from the play due to a back injury.

Leslie Uggams
Leslie Uggams

Little more than a week before the Sept. 28 first performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Uggams jumped into the Pond, directed by Leonard Foglia (Master Class). Jeffrey Finn Productions is presenting the revival of Ernest Thompson's family drama, which also stars Tony Award winner James Earl Jones.

"An injury over the weekend aggravated a previous condition that left the Tony Award-winning star with a herniated disk and severe muscle strain," according to an announcement Sept. 21. "While she is expected to ultimately recover, her physicians insisted she immediately limit her movements and return home to Los Angeles for treatment and rest, making further rehearsals and upcoming performances impossible."

Jeffrey Finn said, "Everyone associated with On Golden Pond is heartbroken that Diahann Carroll won't be able to join us in Washington. A driving force of this production from the beginning, a consummate performer and a dear, personal friend, her participation will be greatly missed."

Uggams won the Tony for Leading Actress in a Musical for Hallelujah, Baby! and received a second nomination for her performance in August Wilson's King Hedley II, which also played at The Kennedy Center prior to Broadway. She most recently appeared on Broadway as Muzzy Van Hossmere in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

"We are extremely fortunate that Leslie Uggams has agreed to step in with such short notice," said Finn. "James Earl Jones, our director Leonard Foglia and our entire company are devoted to this production and enthusiastically welcome Ms. Uggams." Performances for the production are still set to start on schedule next Tuesday evening, Sept. 28 at The Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theatre.

On Golden Pond will play for three weeks only from Sept. 28-Oct. 17, with an official press opening set for Oct. 2 at 8 PM. In addition to Jones and Uggams, the cast features Linda Powell, Peter Francis James, Craig Bockhorn and Alexander Mitchell.

For tickets ($25-$78) and information, call Instant-Charge at (800) 444-1324 or visit The Kennedy Center at www.kennedy-center.org.

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