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"Diane" - 2018 Tribeca Film Festival
Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Broadway favorite Andrea Martin has exited the upcoming play Gary, after breaking four ribs in an accident during rehearsals, producer Scott Rudin said Monday. The actress was slated to originate the role of Janice in the comedy premiere, opposite Nathan Lane and Kristine Nielsen.

Nielsen will now take over Martin’s role, while Tony Award-winning actress Julie White will play Carol, the character originally set to be played by Nielsen.

“There is no greater company member than Andrea Martin, and we are heartsick to see her depart the production,” Rudin said in a statement. “We wish her the speediest recovery possible. We are very grateful to both Ms. Nielsen and Ms. White for stepping up and stepping in so swiftly.”

“I am heartbroken to have to leave the production and have tried to convince the doctor that my funny bone is stronger than my broken ribs,” Martin said. “But regretfully I must follow the doctor’s orders. I love everyone involved in this beautiful play and will miss them profoundly. I will be cheering them on from the audience at the Booth Theatre.”

One of the buzziest premieres of the new Broadway season, Gary is directed by George C. Wolfe from a script by Pulitzer Prize finalist Taylor Mac. It’s set just after the blood-soaked conclusion of William Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus. With the civil war ended, the country has been stolen by madmen, and there are casualties everywhere, among them a midwife on the verge of death (White). And two very lowly servants — Lane and Nielsen — are charged with cleaning up the bodies.

The first preview performance has been pushed to March 9 as a result of the shakeup, but Rudin and the play’s team are still targeting an opening night of April 11.

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