11/02/2001 at 01:00 AM EST
After six months of starring in Broadway's biggest hit, "The Producers," Tony-winning Nathan Lane, 45, is suffering from a polyp on his left vocal cord that has forced him to cancel out of all of this week's performances, reports The New York Times. Doctors have also imposed a strict "no speaking" regimen for the leading man, who sings and screams eight times a week for the Mel Brooks musical, in which Lane costars with Matthew Broderick. Because of the strain that the role has placed upon him, Lane, who was apparently diagnosed this past Tuesday, has missed about 15 performances since "The Producers" opened in April. "He just wants to get better," said a spokesman. "He's got to take this week off, and he's got to have total silence." Stage stars are particularly susceptible to polyps, which are nodules that develop on stressed-out vocal cords. Julie Andrews suffered them when she was in "Victor/Victoria" on Broadway, and the result was some 1997 surgery that damaged her singing voice. (She sued the hospital and doctors for malpractice. The case was settled out of court last fall.) In other news of "The Producers," the show instituted a new ticket-sales policy that its producers claim is an attempt to thwart scalpers, who are charging as much as $500 a seat. Every night, 50 choice seats for the show go on sale for $480 each. (You read correctly.) The satirical Off-Broadway revue, "Forbidden Broadway," has gotten into the act, too. Its producers said that they will offer ONE $481 ticket a night, just to make fun.