Broadway Audiences Prefer Their Casts Mercury-PoisonedS

Though we understood why Jeremy Piven's ditched Speed-the-Plow co-stars reamed him onstage Sunday, we couldn't fathom what it was that had made Elisabeth Moss allegedly start "sobbing." Then, we saw the Piven-less box office:

The David Mamet comedy grossed $326,559, down nearly $160,000 from the previous week, according to figures released Monday by the Broadway League, the industry's trade organization. The show played to about 50 percent capacity at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Piven was replaced by his understudy, Jordan Lage, for eight performances.

With figures like that, Speed-the-Plow may not make it til mid-January, when William H. Macy arrives bearing a strict, no-unagi rider. Shoulda gone for Steven Weber when you had the chance, Mamet! Instead, that ardent Wings fanbase must divert its attentions to Farmington, Illinois, where Crystal Bernard is currently knocking them dead in a dinner theatre production of The Fantasticks.
[Photo Credit: AP]