Monday, December 22, 2008

Speed reading

I missed the mysteriously exited Jeremy Piven in the Broadway revival of Speed-the-Plow. But I did see his terrific understudy, Jordan Lage, an old hand at David Mamet, yesterday, and I would Photoshop his head into the picture if I could. And I did hear co-star Raul Esparza's heartfelt--and pointed--speech following the performance. I don't think it was ungracious at all, as the chatters (as in All That) are saying, and it would seem to quell the ridiculousness about the Entourage star's "mercury poisoning," which I doubt Mamet would have made light of had there been anything to it. (Piven jumped on a plane and got out of town the second he could, atypical behavior for someone at death's door.)

How embarrassing for Piven, scion of an influential theater clan in the Chicago area, to behave so poorly. However, opportunity has surely knocked for Lage, who has made the most of it. I think William H. Macy, who will assume the role of a conscience-wracked Hollywood producer later in the show's run, is kind of old for it, which is not to knock his abilities...but that Esparza and Norbert Leo Butz, actors of similar age and New York theater backgrounds, should be dynamite together when Butz steps in tomorrow.

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