Great Neck native Nikki Blonsky has departed the Off-Broadway comedy “Stuffed.”
The producers of the show, currently in previews at Westside Theatre, said Thursday that Blonsky, 28, who starred in the 2007 movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Hairspray,” had taken ill and was unable to have sufficient rehearsal time.
“I am so, so sorry Nikki had to leave the production,” playwright-star Lisa Lampanelli, 56, said in a statement. “When we cast her as ‘Marty,’ the confident plus-sized girl in the show, I was over the moon because Nikki Blonsky embodies that character to a T. Unfortunately, for us and for her, the timing put us behind schedule, and the two of us agreed this was for the good of the show. I will always love and admire Nikki and what she represents, and I really hope we can work together on something in the future. Nothing would tickle me more. And you know me — I don’t tickle easily.”
Opening night was moved from Oct. 19 to Oct. 31, with understudy Lauren Ann Brickman filling in immediately until a permanent replacement is cast.
“ ‘Stuffed’ is the first script in a long time that reached out and grabbed me by the heart,” Blonsky said in a statement. “But while I’m sad not to continue with the play this time around, I want what’s best for it and my castmates, who are beautifully telling this story and connecting to audiences every night. This play means so much to me: its humor, its heart, and its incredible message.” Blonsky, the daughter of Karen and Carl Blonsky, most recently starred with Burt Reynolds, Chevy Chase and Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) in the 2017 independent feature “Dog Years.”
The play, also starring Marsha Stephanie Blake and Eden Malyn and directed by Jackson Gay, follows a lifelong dieter, a bulimic, a confident overweight woman and a very petite one, all addressing their relationships with food.