The first five previews of the Arena Stage world premiere of the new musical Dave, which was scheduled to begin performances July 13, have been canceled. Previews will now kick off July 18.
Tony nominee Douglas Sills, most recently on Broadway opposite Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in War Paint, has undergone minor unexpected surgery. Sills, playing Chief of Staff Bob Alexander, is expected to make a speedy recovery. While he recovers, Dave cast member Jared Bradshaw will step into the role of Bob Alexander. Thomas Adrian Simpson (Arena Stage’s A Raisin in the Sun and Carousel) will join the ensemble.
A member of the Arena Stage sales team will contact all patrons holding tickets for the first five preview performances, with an option to exchange into any other performance of Dave.
As previously reported, Drew Gehling, who originated the role of Dr. Pomatter in the Broadway musical Waitress, will play both President Bill Mitchell and the title role.
The cast also features Mamie Parris (Cats, School of Rock) as First Lady Ellen Mitchell, Josh Breckenridge (Come From Away), Rachel Flynn (Off-Broadway’s Heathers the Musical), Bryonha Marie Parham (Prince of Broadway) and Jonathan Rayson (Little Shop of Horrors).
Rounding out the company are Jenny Ashman, Dana Costello, Trista Dollison, Sherri L. Edelen, Kevin R. Free, Adam J. Levy, Erin Quill, Jamison Scott, and Vishal Vaidya.
Dave features a book by three-time Tony winner Thomas Meehan (Annie, Hairspray, The Producers) and Tony nominee Nell Benjamin (Mean Girls, Legally Blonde), music by Pulitzer Prize and two-time Tony winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, If/Then), and lyrics by Benjamin. Tony nominee Tina Landau, currently represented on Broadway with SpongeBob SquarePants, will direct.
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The production also has scenic design by Tony Award nominee Dane Laffrey, costume design by two-time Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by five-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman, sound design by Tony Award nominee Walter Trarbach, projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini, and casting by Telsey + Company/Patrick Goodwin, CSA.