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Ovenden departs ‘Death’

Laryngitis prompts actor's exit

Thesp Julian Ovenden’s holiday from “Death Takes a Holiday” has become permanent: The thesp has exited the Off Broadway tuner for good.

Brit actor, who played the vacationing personification of Death in the new musical, has been out of the show since July 19. Cause is laryngitis, according to reps for Roundabout Theater Company, which produces the show.

Production is one of Off Broadway’s higher-profile tuners, thanks to a creative team that includes composer Maury Yeston (“Nine”), the late book writer Peter Stone (“1776”) and scribe Thomas Meehan (“Hairspray,” “Annie”).

Ovenden appeared in most of the show’s previews and was reviewed by the majority of legit critics in the production before being sidelined just prior to the musical’s July 21 opening. Since Ovenden’s departure, understudy Kevin Earley has played the role at all performances including the opening.

“With respect to the cast and the audiences, I have decided to withdraw from the production,” Ovenden said in a statement. “I have a great amount of respect for my fellow actors and I am deeply saddened to have to say goodbye.”

Earley will continue to play the part until the show ends its run Sept. 4.

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