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'Little Miss Sunshine' actor misses the bus

March 21, 2011 |  2:14 pm


The ragtag family in the new musical "Little Miss Sunshine" is missing one of its key players, and the yellow Volkswagen mini-bus is feeling a little empty without him.

Actor Malcolm Gets plays the role of Uncle Frank, the depressed Proust scholar whose bandaged wrists indicate a failed suicide attempt. (In the 2006 movie the show is based on, the character was played by Steve Carell.) Gets has been mysteriously absent from a number of performances since the musical opened earlier this month in La Jolla, with understudy Andrew Samonsky filling in the part.

The company spokeswoman said that Gets has been suffering from health issues related to his vocal cords and that he has been ordered to rest. The actor likely won't be returning to the show, since it closes this weekend, said the spokeswoman. Samonsky is taking over the role of Uncle Frank for the show's run.

A representative for Gets said in an e-mail that "Malcolm is out due to a throat infection. He is on vocal rest." Gets starred in the NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City" for its entire four-season run and was recently seen in the HBO movie "Grey Gardens."

"Little Miss Sunshine" is written and directed by Tony winner James Lapine and features a score by William Finn. The rest of the cast includes Hunter Foster, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Georgi James, Taylor Trensch and Dick Latessa.

For a full account of the show, you can read the review by Times theater critic Charles McNulty.


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-- David Ng

Photo (top): (left to right) Jennifer Laura Thompson, Malcolm Gets, Dick Latessa, Taylor Trensch and Hunter Foster in "Little Miss Sunshine" at the La Jolla Playhouse. Credit: Craig Schwartz / La Jolla Playhouse

Photo (bottom): the cast of "Little Miss Sunshine," with Georgi James, far right. Credit: Craig Schwartz / La Jolla Playhouse