Lillias White, one of the stars of the Off-Broadway show Crowns at the Second Stage Theatre, has been missing performances lately due to a combination of scheduling conflicts and illness. According to a production spokesman, it is not yet known if White will return to the show.
"She had it in her contract that she was scheduled to be out for almost the entire week beginning December 9 because she had Christmas concert engagements," the spokesman told TheaterMania, "and then she got sick after that. She was on doctor-ordered vocal rest last week. She's seeing a doctor again today, according to Second Stage, so they should know more later today."
White won a 1997 Tony Award for her featured performance in the Cy Coleman musical The Life. She also appeared on Broadway in Dreamgirls, Once on This Island, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and she played Dinah Washington in the Off-Broadway bio-musical Dinah Was.
Adapted and directed by Regina Taylor, Crowns is a "play with gospel music" based on a best-selling book of the same name by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry that collected oral histories and photographs of African-American women in their church hats. Barbara & Scott Siegel, in their December 4 review of the production for TheaterMania, wrote that "Crowns is very much a women's play, and the six females who inhabit this world -- and wear those hats -- create a powerful dynamic of sisterhood. They also create a beautiful sound, individually and when they sing in various combinations with each other. Carmen Ruby Floyd, Harriett D. Foy, Lynda Gravatt, Janet Hubert, Ebony Jo-Ann, and Lillias White are an ensemble to reckon with; White gets a star turn but all of the performers hold the stage equally well."