The Playgoer: Quote of the Day

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Quote of the Day

"My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.”

-David Mamet, confirming reports yesterday that actor and alleged at-risk high-level mercury sufferer Jeremy Piven was jumping ship on the otherwise very successful Broadway revival of his play, Speed-the-Plow.

Too bad. Piven was actually very good in the show when I caught it in previews. But according to today's follow-up in Variety:"legiters view Piven’s health claims with skepticism -- and freely trade gossip about the actor’s perceived bad behavior, including ignoring the traditional half-hour call time."

But to me the godsend in all is this the return to the legitimate stage of William H. Macy, who has agreed to fill in in January. (Norbert Leo Butz, not bad himself, will start next week.) How little folks remember that before cult movies like Fargo skyrocketed him to minor-movie-stardom, Macy was arguably Mamet's main muse. (His stage performance in Oleanna was particularly masterful.) The two have continued to work together on film, but aside from a brief return to the Atlantic (a company he and Mamet co-founded) for American Buffalo a decade ago, Macy has left the theatre behind.

Wouldn't you think that such a well-regarded movie actor with actual stage chops would be highly in demand in today's New York theatre? Even (especially?) on Broadway? But no, one of our finest stage actors has gone to waste.

Unless he's just not interested anymore. Perhaps. And agreeing to go into Plow on such short notice is probably more a personal favor than anything else. (And don't forget Plow's director is current Atlantic AD Neil Pepe.) Still--even if the playwright and this play just make you wretch--you should seize the chance to see this man on stage for what--who knows--may be the last time!

PS. Riedel, of course, has the goods, in blunter form.


Anonymous said...

Before Mamet Macy was a hit in Gurney's The Dining Room at Astor Place Th, but it should not be underestimated what a fine actor u/s Jordan Lage is.

Playgoer said...

Thank you, Ralph, for reminding us that Jordan Lage is no slouch, even if he is less famous. Another founding Atlantic company member, he's another of the "inner circle", who also understudied Liev Schreiber in the B'way Glengarry. See a pattern? Hopefully one day soon the guy will get a starring role of his own.

Anonymous said...

Piven is an IDIOT!!!!!!! What a hack.