Actress Marion Ross, a favorite with Kansas City audiences, has dropped out of the New Theatre production of “Over the Moon” for what the theater called health reasons.
“Due to her hectic schedule Marion Ross has become exhausted,” New Theatre officials reported in a statement on the company’s Facebook page. “Under doctor’s advice she is taking time away from her acting career to rest. Reluctantly Marion must leave our production.”
Carmen Roman, a Chicago-based actress who appeared with Ross in the New Theatre production of “The Game’s Afoot” in 2012 will take over Ross’ role.
Ross, perhaps best known for her role on the TV show “Happy Days,” was featured heavily in the New Theatre’s promotional material for the production. The show also stars Hal Linden in his Kansas City debut. Linden, best known for the long-running “Barney Miller,” has both an Emmy Award and a Tony Award on his resume.
The play by Ken Ludwig, previously known as “Moon Over Buffalo,” is a backstage farce about a theatrical couple on tour.
“The show opens with a big sword fight,” said Rob McGraw, vice president of marketing for the New Theatre. “That’s how Marion starts the show, with a big entrance. And she’s just on (stage) all the time.”
Ross, 87, first appeared at the New Theatre in “Steel Magnolias” in 1995. She later starred there in “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Last Romance,” two productions of “Over the River and Through the Woods” and “The Game’s Afoot.”
▪ “Over the Moon” begins performances Feb. 18 and continues through April 24 at the New Theatre, 9229 Foster, Overland Park. Call 913-649-7469 or go to www.newtheatre.com