Illness May Close 'On Golden Pond'

The Broadway revival of "On Golden Pond (search)" will close Sunday if its star, James Earl Jones (search), suffering from pneumonia, can't return to the production next week.

"No one wants to close this amazing production, and we're all eager to take down the provisional closing notice, but if he (Jones) is unable to return in the near future, closing is our most financially responsible decision," producer Jeffrey Finn said Tuesday.

The 74-year-old Jones has been out of the show since June 15, and box-office receipts plummeted. Last week, the play, which also stars Leslie Uggams (search), grossed $162,053, filling less than 40 percent of the seats at the Cort Theatre.

During Jones' absence, his role has been played by Charles Turner. "On Golden Pond" opened April 7 to largely positive reviews, particularly for Jones, who portrays irascible professor Norman Thayer.