'Book of Mormon' cast staying until 2013, but Andrew Rannells?
The principal Broadway cast of "The Book of Mormon" has extended its stay with the hit musical through February 2013, producers announced on Monday. With eight shows a week, that means they are on the hook for approximately 450 more performances of the high-energy comedy. Here's hoping producers are footing the bill for chiropractors and voice coaches.
Fans of "Mormon" may be wondering how Monday's announcement will impact Andrew Rannells, who stars in the musical as one of two young missionaries sent to Africa. Last week, it was reported that Rannells has signed on to a NBC television pilot from Ryan Murphy about a gay couple and a surrogate mother.
Producers will most likely have to use an understudy or some form of substitute while Rannells takes a multi-week hiatus to work on the pilot. (Spokespeople for "Mormon" said that they did not know at this time how the actor's schedule will work out.)
It's not unheard of for a Broadway star to take a break in order to shoot a screen project. Last year, Sutton Foster took a brief hiatus from "Anything Goes" to work on the TV pilot "Bunheads," from "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.
The tour will kick off this summer in Denver. Tickets for the Denver run reportedly sold out in five hours.
"South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker co-wrote the musical with Robert Lopez ("Avenue Q"). Parker directed the show with Casey Nicholaw, who also serves as choreographer. In addition to Rannells, the Broadway cast includes Josh Gad, Nikki M. James, Rory O’Malley and Michael Potts.
-- David Ng
Photo: Andrew Rannells, left, in a scene from the musical "The Book of Mormon," running at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York. Credit: Jeff Christensen / Associated Press