NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812
Click Here for More Articles on NATASHA, PIERRE AND THE GREAT COMET OF 1812

Sunday Update: THE GREAT COMET's Azudi Onyejekwe Addresses Casting Controversy

Sunday Update: THE GREAT COMET's Azudi Onyejekwe Addresses Casting Controversy

Talk of the last week's casting controversy continues this weekend in Broadway circles, discussing what happened and what comes next for both THE GREAT COMET and the future of diversity in casting at large.

On Twitter, GREAT COMET cast member Azudi Onyejekwe has weighed in with his take on the situation and it's a must-read. Prior to THE GREAT COMET's Broadway debut, he was also seen on Broadway in VIOLET and Off-Broadway in Central Avenue Breakdown (NYMF), Broken Bride (Cutting Room). NYC Workshops: NYTW, Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, York Theatre.

Following public outcry, Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin has withdrawn from his scheduled run in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. In a statement e-mailed to the New York Times Thursday evening, Patinkin addressed the controversy, statting:

"My understanding of the show's request that I step into the show is not as it has been portrayed and I would never accept a role knowing it would harm another actor," Mr. Patinkin said. "I hear what members of the community have said and I agree with them. I am a huge fan of Oak and I will, therefore, not be appearing in the show."

As BroadwayWorld reported earlier this week, Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin was scheduled to make his long-awaited return to Broadway in NATASHA, PIERRE & THE GREAT COMET OF 1812, starring as 'Pierre' from August 15 - September 3 only. Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan, currently playing the role, will play his final performance as 'Pierre' on August 13.

Producer Howard Kagan explained Okieriete Onaodowan's departure earlier this week: "This continues our show's remarkable history of having great actors and singers see the show as audience members, only to tell us they are inspired to join the cast! Whenever possible we will accommodate them as we did here with Mandy and his Homeland TV schedule. Oak, who was scheduled to appear as Pierre for this period graciously agreed to make room for Mandy, and we sincerely hope that Oak will return to us in the fall or winter. He is a terrific Pierre."

The show's composer, Dave Malloy, took to Twitter to explain some of the reasoning behind this.

He writes that "The show was in desperate shape; sales after Ingrid leaving Aug 13 were catastrophically low."

He also revealed that Mandy Patinkin was unaware that Okieriete Onaodowan was being asked to leave the production early. Patinkin was asked to step in ASAP as the show was on the brink of closing.

He concluded with "I am not sure that the show has a future now."




Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Breaking: BEETLEJUICE Announces Closing Date; National Tour Will Launch in 2021
Broadway's smash hit musical BEETLEJUICE will play its final performance at the Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Final... (read more)

Voting Open For The 2019 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards Worldwide
Voting is NOW OPEN for the 2019 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards Worldwide, brought to you by TodayTix! The nominees are set, and now you can vote to mak... (read more)

Dancer and Actor Jack Burns Passes Away At Age 14
It has been reported that young actor and ballet star, Jack Burns, has passed away suddenly at age fourteen.... (read more)

Meet the Cast of WEST SIDE STORY - Now in Previews on Broadway!
West Side Story is officially in previews on Broadway! The new production is directed by Tony Award winner Ivo van Hove; and for the first time ever i... (read more)

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Will Release Cast Album Featuring Jonathan Groff, Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle
The critically-acclaimed revival of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS will be receiving an original cast recording, to be released by Ghostlight Records. THE NEW... (read more)

Austin Durant Joins The Cast Of MOULIN ROUGE! Beginning Tonight; Danny Burstein Takes Leave Due to Injury
Beginning tonight, Tuesday, December 10 a?" Austin Durant joins the cast of Broadway's Moulin Rouge! The Musical in the role of a?oeHarold Zidler.'... (read more)