OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Injured lead actor replaced in Drury Lane 'Singin' in the Rain'

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2012-11-15T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Injured lead actor replaced in Drury Lane 'Singin' in the Rain'Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

It's still the stage rule of "the show must go on," but there will be a different hand holding the umbrella for the remainder of Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook's run of "Singin' in the Rain."

The production's headlining star Sean Palmer has been injured and must leave the show. He is being replaced by Broadway actor Tony Yazbeck for the lead role of Don Lockwood, played by Gene Kelly in the original 1952 film musical of the same name.

Noreen Heron, publicist for Drury Lane Theatre Oakbook, made the announcement Wednesday, including information about tonight's press opening being rescheduled.

"We are sorry to inform you that the press opening of 'Singin' in the Rain' is canceled for tomorrow due to an injury suffered by Sean Palmer," Heron explained in a news release.

"Broadway actor Tony Yazbeck will take over the role of 'Don Lockwood' in the production on Wednesday, Nov. 21."

When I spoke to Heron on Wednesday, she further explained that Palmer opened with the show for the preview performances last week and will continue performing the role until Sunday and then depart. Yazbeck's first performance will be Wednesday for the remainder of the run which is to end Jan. 13.

As for Palmer, 39, his previous Broadway credits include playing Prince Eric in "The Little Mermaid" in 2008. He is best known for playing a supporting TV role in HBO's "Sex in the City" as the New York model boyfriend of the agent character Standford Blatch, the best guy, buddy friend of the show's lead character, Carrie Bradshaw.

As for Yazbeck, 33, his Broadway credits include starring as Billy Flynn, the song and dance lawyer in the long-running revival of "Chicago," as well as the role of Phil Davis in Irving Berlin's "White Christmas."

He also played Tulsa in the recent revival of "Gypsy" starring Patti LuPone and "Al" in "A Chorus Line."

I'm told "Singin' in the Rain" features one of the largest all-star casts ever assembled on the Drury Lane stage.

It also stars Jenny Guse as Kathy Selden (the Debbie Reynolds role) and Matthew Crowle as Cosmo (the Donald O'Connor film role). Crowle appeared in "Spamalot" on Broadway and the national tour of "Doctor Dolittle" directed by Tommy Tune and "Gypsy" at Drury Lane Theatre. Drama Desk Award nominee Melissa Van Der Schyff is squeaky-voiced film star Lina Lamont. 

The production features music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed, with the book adapted by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Jeff Award winner Roberta Duchak serves as musical director and the production is choreographed by Amber Mak, with the scenery conceived by Jeff Award winning designer Kevin Depinet. The production is directed by Bill Jenkins.

Tickets are $35 to $68, with the latter price including lunch and dinner package options.  Call (630) 530-0111 or drurylaneoakbrook.com.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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