Emily Stern, 22, has starred since November in “Kaballah,” staged by the Jewish Theater of New York at the Triad Theater, 158 W. 72nd St. She has been playing Madonna, the pop singer who gained an interest in the mystic Jewish form of study.
Tuesday, the company abruptly canceled its scheduled performances for this week at the 136-seat theater, saying Stern had dropped out after learning that she had become the subject of rumors on several Howard Stern fan club Web sites.
“She’s very scared now,” said Isi Tenonbom, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Theater, who said the company was looking for a replacement actress.
Tenonbom said that members of at least one fan club had left “vulgar” comments about Emily in online chat rooms, “thus creating the possibility that throngs of them would come to take her pictures in compromising poses.”
The operator of one site said he was aware that some photos of Emily Stern had made their way to the Web, and that site administrators were attempting to have them removed.
Tenonbom said the company had previously agreed not to divulge Stern’s relationship to the talk show host, whose morning program enters a second life next week on satellite radio.
Tuvia Tenonbom, the show’s director, said Stern’s departure puts the rest of the cast “in a very tough spot.”
A Web site for “Kaballah,” updated to announce its planned extension into 2006, says only that the lead, Madonna, will be played by “Long Island-born-and-raised Jewish actress, the talented Emily Stern.”
Tenonbom said Stern’s mother, Alison, had seen the show, but that Howard had not. She said Howard did not want his daughter to do the show because he was afraid his enemies would try to take advantage of the situation.
According to a bio posted on the Jewish Theater’s Web site, Stern is a Tisch School of the Arts graduate who has recently appeared in the 7th Sign’s production of “Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline.”
A spokesman for Howard Stern could not be reached Tuesday night.
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