Thursday, December 14, 2006

New Duet Partner For McKean In London's Love Song

New Duet Partner For McKean In London's Love Song

I learned over the weekend that within days of last week's London opening of playwright John Kolvenbach's Love Song, Kristin Johnston became seriously ill with an erupted duodenal ulcer, thus forcing her departure from the show.

What's a brand new production to do? Fortunately, with only one day's notice, Molly Regan (pictured) -- the actress who originated the role of Joan in the world premiere of Love Song at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre earlier this year -- flew to London to perform while Johnston recuperates, which may still be before Christmas. Regan will join Neve Campbell, Michael McKean and Cillian Murphy.

In the run-up to the Steppenwolf premiere of this work, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet Regan and speak with her about her life as an actress. Amazingly, this native of Mankato, Minnesota (versus Johnston's roots in neighboring Wisconsin) has been a member of Steppenwolf's ensemble for just over two-thirds of its 31 year existence, appearing in fifteen of its productions through the years. She earned a Joseph Jefferson Award -- Chicago theatre's highest honor -- for her 1991 work in Another Time. Additionally, Regan has appeared in Broadway productions of The Crucible (1991) and Stepping Out (1987).

I was very sorry to learn of Johnston's illness, and certainly wish her a full and speedy recovery. At least London audiences holding tickets for Love Song while she's out can take comfort that they'll be see a charming and gifted actress who knows the character better than anyone else.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Was Love Song Music To London Critics' Ears? (December 5, 2006)
Next Stanza: Love Song Opens In London (November 4, 2006)
Kolvenbach's Love Song To Sing In London (October 13, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #7 – Love Song (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL) (May 19, 2006)

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