"High mercury levels" force Piven out of SPEED-THE-PLOW

Yankeefan007
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A diagnosis of "high mercury count" has forced Jeremy Piven to abruptly exit the Atlantic Theatre Company's Broadway production of David Mamet's SPEED-THE-PLOW, directed by Neil Pepe.

"I talked to Jeremy on the phone and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury," David Mamet told Variety. "So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."

"The good news is that some really great actors will be helping out and stepping in, which to me is a sign of great heroism and friendship," said Mamet, who declined to name the replacement.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117997561.html?categoryid=15&cs=1
Updated On: 12/17/08 at 03:06 PM
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Hest882
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Hm. That's too bad. I hope it doesn't impact ticket sales too much, but I would think he was the major draw for a segment of the audience.
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Call me cynical, but I have to wonder just what sort of illness is so awful that his doctors insist he won't recover for two months (that's how much is left of the STP run).

Or is Piven just sick of live theater acting?
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WiCkEDrOcKS
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Oh well...I still haven't seen it and I wanted to see him. I guess I'll wait a little to see if he comes back. But I'll still catch the show...I hope he comes back and is alright.
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Piven isn't Terrance Howard. Piven has done NY theater before, his parents were actors, acting teachers; he's appeared on stage with them. He knew what he was getting into.

My money is on exhaustion, physically and mentally. Chronic fatigue syndrome.
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Did this illness just hit him? I saw him on Extra over the weekend and he seemed fine.
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Yeah, but he hasn't done it for a long time. It's Mamet, and pretty intense Mamet at that. Maybe he got overwhelmed.
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yea..when i saw the show about 2 weeks ago he did a great job in the show..but after when he made the EFA speechand was out of character you could just tell he winded and exsausted and just ready to collapse
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Dude, it's an 85-minute play. Yes he's onstage for most of it but seriously, it is not a hard job. I would love to get paid what he's getting to work only sixteen hours a week.

If he really is ill, I feel terrible for him and wish him a speedy recovery. If he is just suffering from "exhaustion" however, he is a total p*ssy.
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It might be an 85 minute play but is very powerful and the energy on that stage needs to be tremendous. This makes the job much harder. I hope Jeremy recovers. That really sucks.
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If he is suffering from exhaustion he should talk to Michael Cerveris, who never missed a performance as Sweeney Todd, which is probably about three times more exhausting than Bobby Gould in Speed the Plow.
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Dang it! That is not the best news for me. I was planning on seeing this when I come to NY in February. Or, rather - scratch that. I still plan on seeing it just for the chance to see Esparza in something. But still, Piven being out is kind of disappointing to me. I've like the guy since Ellen!
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If he is indeed out permanently, they will whip up some sort of star (or semi-star) replacement. The producers are probably making phone calls right now.
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"If he is suffering from exhaustion he should talk to Michael Cerveris, who never missed a performance as Sweeney Todd, which is probably about three times more exhausting than Bobby Gould in Speed the Plow."

How about a conversation with 82 year old Estelle Parsons whose show is 3 1/2 hours long? If anyone should be exhausted, its her!
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Agreed.
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Meh, I am cynical so my guess is that he is 'over it', but really we can't say anything until official word is out. Fantasia got a lot of sh*t for missing dates in The Color Purple, and that turned out to be very legit.
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Maybe he injured his foot while fooling around with his male costar in the dressing room.
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If he really is out for good, maybe they can find someone to take over the part?

I wonder if Jeff Goldblum is available?
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http://gothamist.com/2008/12/17/jeremy_pivens_doctors_urge_him_to_q.php


Seriously...I think what they say here about Raul is absolutely true. I hope that the show is going to be okay for everybody else's sake. With a great replacement, it will definitely continue to do well.
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Damn. I kept putting off seeing this show, and now I'm going to miss Piven.
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Seems he has a high mercury level. According to an article in variety;

"Jeremy Piven will abruptly end his run in Broadway's "Speed-the-Plow," after missing Tuesday evening's performance and a Wednesday matinee.
According to sources, Piven has informed the producers that he hasn't been feeling well and that the condition is attributable to a high mercury count.

The show's producers weren't returning calls, but Daily Variety reached out to David Mamet, who wrote the showbiz satire and seemed less than convinced by Piven's departure.

"I talked to Jeremy on the phone and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury," Mamet said. "So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117997561.html?
Piven

EDIT - Sorry for the duplication. Looks like jay and I posted at the same time. re: Piven out of SPEED-THE-PLOW indefinitely?


Updated On: 12/17/08 at 06:23 PM
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Piven did a profile in the Times, and he sounded absolutely exhausted. I can relate- I'm the same way right now- very busy (in a good way) but totally exhausted and unable to take any time for myself, albeit on a much smaller scale.

I'm pretty sure he went right from shooting Entourage to Speed, so he probably just collapsed.

But high mercury count? That's serious. Mercury is no laughing matter, and I could totally understand why he would want to dip out- mercury is a very harmful toxin. If there is exposed mercury in that theatre, he (and everyone else) needs to get out fast.

That said- Mamet's thermometer line was hilarious.
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"high mercury count"?? WTF is this - some kind of bizarre joke?

However, this comment from Mamet is quite intriguing:

"The good news is that some really great actors will be helping out and stepping in, which to me is a sign of great heroism and friendship," said Mamet, who declined to name the replacement.

I already suggested Jeff Goldblum - anybody want to toss some other names into the hat?
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Goldblum would make sense because he knows the part. Otherwise... Liev Schreiber?
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