Steve Kazee explains early departure from ‘Once’, vocal injury and thanks his fans

Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in Once.

Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti in Once.

After months of silence, Steve Kazee confessed to his fans where he has been since he last performed in the Tony Award winning musical Once in early February.

Although the Tony Award-winning actor was schedule to perform as Guy for the final time on March 24 along with fellow departing cast members Cristin Milioti, Will Connolly and Elizabeth A. Davis, Kazee’s understudy and replacement Ben Hope filled in.

Kazee posted the following message explaining his departure on his official website:

To the fans of Once the Musical,

I just wanted to write and say thank you for all of your well wishes and sweet messages during the past few weeks. As many of you know, I suffered a vocal injury on Feb. 6th and was unable to return to the role of Guy since that time. This is not how I had imagined the run of the show would end for me and to say it has been disappointing would be understating it quite a bit. I have been on vocal rest since my diagnosis to help heal up the swelling and to reduce inflammation around a blood vessel that was lying over top of the swollen area. I am feeling much better these days and should be back to 100%  within a week or two and I look forward to seeing whatever comes next. I had planned on extending my contract with Once through September but after the injury I had to reevaluate that decision and on the advice of my doctor it was decided that returning to singing the same role in the same way 8 times a week would be too high of a risk of hemorrhaging a vocal cord and one that I wasn’t willing to take. I am truly sorry that I wasn’t able to be there to finish out this run as I know many of you came to see the original cast of Once. I hope you can understand that I was just as disappointed to not be able to perform for you. I know many of you were concerned about me because of my absence from social networks so I want to let you know that my absence was what I felt was most respectful to the show, to the cast, and ultimately to the audiences of Once. I would have felt awful to know that one of you was at the show and I wasn’t there and then when you returned home you found copious tweets from me about The Walking Dead or some other random bit of banal business from my day. I ultimately felt that waiting until after March 24th before addressing any of this was the best way for me personally to handle it. I don’t know how to convey to you what an impact you have all made on me since this journey began. I am one of you. I am a fan. A fan of Broadway, theatre, film/tv, music, art and all those who create it. It is that same fandom that I saw in your eyes, heard in your words, felt in your hugs, and sometimes tears, that will stay with me forever. I loved spending time with you on the street or at the stage door nearly as much as I loved performing for you. You constantly reminded me of how incredibly lucky I am to be doing what i’m doing and I hope as my life transitions from this place to the next that I can continue to do the kind of job that has garnered your love and admiration for years and years to come. This show and everyone involved in it; our wonderful producers, phenomenal creatives, amazingly talented cast, our outstanding stage management team, everyone behind the scenes at the Jacobs Theatre, and you, the audience, mean the world to me and I consider myself to be YOUR fan as well. Thank you for everything. I love you all.

 Steve

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About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald