A decision has been announced by the arbitrator of the legal case that pitted the producers of the Broadway play Speed-the-Plow against actor Jeremy Piven and Actors’ Equity Association, and he has ruled in favor of Piven and AEA. The trouble began late last year when Jeremy Piven suddenly departed from the Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow in which he was starring, reportedly due to high levels of mercury in his system from excessive sushi consumption (the Entourage actor has been plagued by fish jokes ever since). Not exactly convinced that Piven’s sudden withdrawal from the show – which forced a scramble to replace him with another bankable star – was necessary, the Speed-the-Plow producers subsequently filed a grievance with Actors’ Equity which later went into arbitration. Although the arbitrator has officially determined that Piven’s decision to leave the show was reasonable, the incident did do some damage to the actor’s reputation in terms of his reliability, and the sushi jokes are still going strong.
Speed-the-Plow, which has had no fewer than four actors play the lead during its limited run, now closes on Broadway today. The David Mamet play, which opened with Jeremy Piven (Entourage) in the role of Bobby Gould, has its final bow with William H. Macy, alongside Raul Esparza and Elisabeth Moss, who fortunately were spared the mercury attack that supposedly sidelined Piven.
There is also a second, unexpected Broadway closing today. The Story of My Life, a two-man musical starring Will Chase and Malcolm Gets, made a sudden closing announcement yesterday. Lackluster reviews and a lack of ticket sales appear to have doomed the two-hander, an original musical that some felt was far too “small” for Broadway. The Story of My Life will have only played five regular performances on Broadway when it shutters.
Jeremy Piven has departed from the Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow, reportedly due to high mercury levels in his system. The acclaimed Broadway revival still has 10 weeks until its run ends, and Piven fans holding tickets to the play may be upset about his sudden leave-taking. However, the powers-that-be at Speed-the-Plow have managed to find two exciting replacements. The always excellent Norbert Leo Butz, whose Broadway credits include Wicked and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, will take over the role of Bobby Gould through January 11. Then film, TV, and sometime stage star William H. Macy will play the part until the show’s run concludes. Broadway lovers who have already seen Speed-the-Plow now have two good reasons to return. If you want discount tickets to see it on Broadway, get them while you still can by clicking here.
The forthcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow has just added a new cast member – Raul Esparza. Esparza, whose most recent Broadway gig was in the Broadway revival of Pinter’s The Homecoming, will play Hollywood producer Charlie Fox. As previously announced, Jeremy Piven (TV’s Entourage) will be starring in the play in the role of Bobby Gould.
Actor Jeremy Piven, who has enjoyed recent attention for his role as Hollywood agent Ari Gold on HBO’s Entourage, will make his Broadway debut later this year in a Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow. Piven will play another Hollywood hotshot, film executive Bobby Gould, in Mamet’s biting satire. Speed-the-Plow originally played Broadway in 1988, in a production that starred Joe Mantegna and Madonna. The Broadway revival starring Piven will open on October 23, but the name of the theater and his co-stars have yet to be announced. Although this will be his first time on Broadway, Piven did appear Off-Broadway not long ago in Neil Labute’s play Fat Pig.