Valisia LeKae Reveals Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis, Withdraws from Broadway's MOTOWN THE MUSICAL
The producers of Motown the Musical have announced that Valisia LeKae, a 2013 Tony Award nominee for her performance as Diana Ross, has withdrawn from the Broadway production at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, for medical reasons. LeKae confirmed her departure in a statement on her personal Facebook page, announcing that she had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
"On, Nov 22, 2013, I had laparoscopic surgery to remove an endometrioma from my right ovary. A sample was taken from that endometrioma and on December 2, 2013, my pathology results reveled that I was positive for Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma, Ovarian Cancer. After receiving a second opinion it was confirmed by my Gynecologic Oncologist on Dec 9, 2013, that the diagnosis had been correct.
Per the advice of my doctor, I will need to have another surgery (unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy) as well as chemotherapy. I am scheduled for Thursday (December 19, 2013 ) and chemotherapy soon thereafter.
"Ovarian Cancer mainly develops in older women. About half of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older. It is more common in white women that African-American women (Cancer.org)."
As a 34 year old, African American woman, I feel that it is important that I share my story in order to educate and encourage others about this disease and the fight against it.
2013 has been full of blessings, from being nominated for a prestigious Tony Award for my portrayal of "Diana Ross" in Motown The Musical as well as many other accolades. God has given me another role to play and like all my previous roles, I plan to go all in, only this time I plan to Win!"
On behalf of the company, the producers said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Valisia during this challenging time, and we, along with the entire Motown the Musical family, are hoping for a complete and speedy recovery."
Felicia Boswell (MEMPHIS) is currently playing the role of Diana Ross.
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, featuring music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy began performances March 11 at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street), and opened April 14.
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy's incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more.
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL's creative team features choreography by Patricia Wilcox (Blues in the Night) and Warren Adams (Toy Story), scenic design by David Korins (Bring It On: The Musical, Annie), costume design by Tony Award® nominee ESosa (The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, "Project Runway"), lighting design by Tony Award® winner Natasha Katz (Once, Sister Act), sound design by Tony Award® nomineePeter Hylenski (Rock of Ages, The Scottsboro Boys), projection design by Daniel Brodie (Jekyll and Hyde).
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL features arrangements and orchestrations by Tony Award® nominee Ethan Popp (Rock of Ages), who also serves as musical supervisor for the 18 piece orchestra that reproduces the classic "Sound of Young America" for the Broadway stage, with co-orchestrations and additional arrangements by Tony Award® nominee Bryan Crook ("Smash"), dance arrangements by Zane Mark (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and music direction by Joseph Joubert (Nice Work If You Can Get It).