Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Broken leg forces McKean to leave Broadway role

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NEW YORK -- Broadway producers scrambled to fill Michael McKean's part in a revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man as the actor recovers from a broken leg after being struck by a car.

Producer Jeffrey Richards said that McKean's role will be played by James Lecesne from now on after Tuesday night's accident.

McKean, 64, who portrayed the lead singer David St. Hubbins in the movie This Is Spinal Tap, was struck at West 86th Street and Broadway in Manhattan just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. Richards said McKean was in stable condition.

"I understand from his team that he has never missed a performance in his career," Richards said in a release. "So this is the kind of first we are reluctant to announce."

Set in Philadelphia during a fictional 1960 national convention, Gore Vidal's The Best Man pits two candidates vying for their unnamed party's presidential nomination -- the East Coast intellectual Bill Russell, a former U.S. secretary of state, and the venal Tennessee Sen. Joe Cantwell. McKean had been playing Russell's campaign director.

The play has been extended twice and is now playing through Sept. 9.

McKean had been part of a starry cast that includes James Earl Jones, John Larroquette, Candice Bergen, Kerry Butler, Angela Lansbury, and Eric McCormack. The play has been nominated for a Tony for best revival.

McKean, who last winter was also part of a production of King Lear at The Public Theater, also played Lenny on the hit television show Laverne & Shirley.

He has been a key player in the Christopher Guest's ensemble pseudo-documentaries Best in Show, For Your Consideration and A Mighty Wind, which earned him and his wife, actress Annette O'Toole, an Academy Award nomination for best original song.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2012 D2

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