Vanishing Point, the three-woman musical playing at American Stage, has had a vanishing act of its own. Victoria Adams-Zischke, the actor portraying Amelia Earhart, had to drop out. She has been replaced by Patty Nieman, who performed the role Thursday "on book" — that is, with script in hand. A company spokeswoman said she would likely be playing the role from memory by tonight.
Adams-Zischke is suffering vocal difficulties, and was unable to perform last weekend, causing the cancellation of four shows. She went back on stage Wednesday, but afterward decided she was unable to finish the run, which continues through July 1 at the St. Petersburg theater.
The musical, with a score by Rob Hartmann, concerns a trio of iconic women from the 1920s and '30s, aviator Earhart, mystery writer Agatha Christie and evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, each of whom vanished at one point. Nieman, based in Phoenix, Ariz., has performed in previous stagings of Vanishing Point. She originated the role of Christie in a version that was workshopped and later fully produced at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.
Vanishing Point is the second American Stage production of the season to lose an actor and create a scramble for a substitute. In March, the opening of A Steady Rain was delayed when one of its two cast members suddenly left the show and an actor called in from New Jersey took his place.
The theater has added a performance of Vanishing Point on Tuesday. Admission is pay what you can, with a $15 advance ticket and $10-$20 suggested donation at the door.