- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Death is taking a permanent vacation.

Julian Ovenden, who plays the Grim Reaper in the new Maury Yeston-Thomas Meehan musical “Death Takes a Holiday” has bowed out of the production due to laryngitis.

Says Ovenden: “I am deeply saddened to have to say goodbye.”

Producers said Wednesday that Kevin Earley, who had been substituting for Ovenden since July 19, takes over officially for the rest of the run which ends Sept. 4.

The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production, which is playing off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre, is based on the Italian drama of the same name by Alberto Casella.

The plot, which tells the story of Death taking human form and falling in love, was made into the 1998 film “Meet Joe Black” with Brad Pitt.

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Online: http://www.roundabouttheatre.org