Replacing a name actor, even for a planned vacation or a previous work obligation, must be a nightmare for producers. Add to it that you are producing a brand new show that is still in previews and you could have disaster on your hands. Well, that is exactly the quandry the folks over at First Date are in. So, I have to give them some kudos for attacking the situation head-on and with both responsibility and a great sense of humor!
First of all, since tickets went on sale, they made sure everyone interested knew that Zachary Levi would be out this week to attend Comic-Con, and that his stand-by, Eric Ankrim, would be on instead.
But perhaps evven more to their credit, they put out this video that has Ankrim rapping about going on for Levi, plus poking some fun at bthe fact that Ankrim himself originated the role only to be replaced by a Hollywood star. (I can only imagine how that must have felt when he first heard that news!) The video also shows that the whole cast is behind Ankrim, including Levi and their leading lady, a bad-ass Krysta Hernandez. It is a clever way, in this age of social media, to address an issue, dispell any rumors of ill will in the company, and it gets the show "out there" in a way no other show is! Sounds like a win-win for all concerned!
Break a leg, and have a great week of shows, as you make your Broadway debut, Eric Ankrim!