The pre-Broadway opening in New Haven was on Monday, January, 19, 1953. During a rehearsal the next afternoon, Rosalind Russell started feeling ill. She with diagnosed as having a respiratory virus and a high fever (102.5), and that evening's performance was canceled. It was announced that the matinee the following day would be postponed till Thursday. Wednesday evening the show went on with Russell's understudy, Patricia Wilkes, in the lead. According to Variety, Wilkes played Ruth through the end of the week of the in New Haven, playing six out of the seven performances there. By the opening in the next tryout city, Boston, on Monday, January 26, Russell was back in the show.