I auditioned to join the ensemble of this show after having been the audition reader for a lot of the process. I understudied the role of Jimmy, played by Gavin Creel, love interest of Millie Dillmount.
On March 23rd, the show was in the middle of it’s fifth public performance when Gavin’s knee suddenly gave way during the “Speakeasy” dance number. I was offstage right in a quick change when Catherine Brunell came speeding by proclaiming that “Gavin blew his knee out!”. Having had no rehearsal to speak of besides learning music around the piano, MY knees gave out too! Minutes later, while I was onstage as Kenneth (Muzzy’s Butler), doing Rob Ashford’s Tony-winning choreography, I was beckoned from the wings to leave the stage and get into Jimmy’s costume for the second act. Assistant director Paul Dobie followed me around with a script and water while I was thrown into Gavin’s costume. Before each scene, I was told where to enter and exit, and the rest I managed to pull out of my memory of watching Gavin out of the corner of my eye. The incredible company of actors helped me out, subtly whispering choreography and blocking to me as they went along, and I made it through. I played Jimmy for the next 18 performances and a few lines that were “happy accidents” made it into the final script.
My Last performance was July 21st
Pardon the low-res pics below. This was a long time ago!