Sandy Duncan has made a hasty exit from Broadway musical “Finding Neverland,” with its producers — led by Harvey Weinstein — battling rumors that she quit with a statement that her absence is only temporary.
Duncan, who famously played Peter in the 1979 Broadway production of “Peter Pan” as well as in multiple touring productions of that show, had appeared in “Neverland” for just five performances before she left. “The producers of Broadway’s ‘Finding Neverland’ regretfully announce that the beloved stage and screen actress Sandy Duncan, who recently joined the magical production in the role of Madame Du Maurier, must take an immediate, yet temporary, leave of absence from the show due to family obligations,” producers said in a statement.
Some reports, however, suggest Duncan quit due to frustration over learning her lines and her blocking, and sources close to the production point out that the cast has gotten no notice of a definite return date for Duncan.
The actress replaced Carolee Carmello in the show, which is based on the 2004 film that tells the backstory of author J.M. Barrie and how he came to write “Peter Pan.” Duncan’s replacement, who’ll star alongside current cast members Tony Yazbeck, Kelsey Grammer and Laura Michelle Kelly, has yet to be announced.
“Finding Neverland,” Weinstein’s first Broadway outing as a lead producer, opened on Broadway in April.