Although Murphy has been absent from the production on "vocal rest" since the end of August, the Wonderful Town producers have continued to advertise her as the star of the show until now. She was to have continued in the revival through Sunday, September 26, after which the role of Ruth will be taken over by Brooke Shields. Instead, understudy Linda Mugleston -- who has gone on many times in Murphy's absence -- will play the role until Shields begins performances on Tuesday, September 28.
A comment by Murphy that's contained within a statement issued by the show's producers, Roger Berlind and Barry and Fran Weissler, reads as follows: "This experience of bringing Wonderful Town to Broadway has been one of the most exciting opportunites in my career. To be blessed with this wonderful role, performing the magnificent music of Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, has been an actor's dream. It's a joyous show and I pass the torch with admiration and best wishes to Brooke Shields."
According to the producers' statement, they "acknowledge the wonderful contribution that Ms. Murphy made to the production and wish her much luck and best wishes in all her future endeavors."