‘Producers’ takes Applegate to the Max

Thesp replaces Stadlen, makes first perf Oct. 7

Fred Applegate is the new Max Bialystock on Broadway. He comes from the current L.A. production of “The Producers,” where he plays Franz Liebkind.

Applegate replaces Lewis J. Stadlen, who departs the show due to a hip injury. Stadlen had been signed through the end of the year.

The new Max’s first perf is Oct. 7, which also marks the return of Gary Beach’s Roger De Bris to the Gotham boards.

Unconfirmed reports have Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick beginning their three-month winter engagement on New Year’s Eve 2003.

Meanwhile, two “Enchanted April” thesps are doing replacement duty and John Leguizamo is bringing “Sexaholix” back to Gotham.

Lincoln Center Theater announced earlier this week that “Enchanted April’s” Michael Hayden would replace Billy Crudup in the upcoming “Henry IV.” Now Dagmara Dominczyk is returning to replace Laura Benanti in the Manhattan Theater Club’s “The Violet Hour,” set to reopen the renovated Biltmore Theater in November.

According to an MTC statement, Benanti and the production “mutually agreed to part company, citing creative differences.”

Benanti last performed in the current revival of “Nine.” “The Violet Hour” would have marked her dramatic debut on Broadway.

Leguizamo’s one-man “Sexaholix” show is booked at the 1,752-seat Broadway Theater for Nov. 11-Dec. 7 run. The Broadway has been empty since the premature departure of the Baz Luhrmann-helmed “La Boheme.” Next skedded tuner for the venue is “Bombay Dreams” in April.

Two seasons ago, Leguizamo performed “Sexaholix” in the more intimate 1,078-seat Royale Theater, where the show ran 120 performances.

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