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Derek Hough: Why He Won't Appear on Dancing with the Stars This Spring

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Dancing with the Stars won’t have as much spring in its step when it returns for its 20th anniversary in March.

Five-time winner Derek Hough has to bow out of the next installment of the ABC show because he’ll play the male lead in New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall this spring.

Debuting in March, the limited, seven-week engagement will feature Hough as Jack, a man with a special mission who will receive an eternal reward if he’s able to help a man named Bernie keep his position as a New York City tour guide. Bernie’s job is in jeopardy when Jenna (Nashville’s Laura Benanti) reveals her plan to take the tour company “virtual.”

Joining Hough and Benanti in the show from Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Weinstein Live Entertainment will be Whoopi Goldberg, voicing the Statue of Liberty, and Bella Thorne, as the voice of the Alice in Wonderland Statue.

There will also be celebrity cameos by Donald Trump, Martha Stewart and Henrik Lundqvist, among others.

“I am ecstatic that I’ll able to extend my passion for performing to the Great Stage of Radio City Music Hall in New York Spring Spectacular,” Hough said exclusively to PEOPLE. “Performing at Radio City Music Hall in a show that celebrates everything that is beloved about New York City is a dream. I can’t wait to show fans this production … it’s going to be like nothing they’ve seen me in before.”

Hough won’t be the only popular pro missing from the spring installment of DWTS. Cheryl Burke announced at the end of last season that she’s leaving the show to star in a new reality show for NBC.

Previews for Hough’s Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall begin on March 12, and the show runs through May 3.

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