Vulture shares the show-business dis of the week, courtesy of none other than playwright David Mamet:
While omens of the forthcoming Broadwaypocalypse have been dragging us down for months, the recent revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow was the one play that seemingly had everything going for it: some strong reviews, a healthy marketing budget (we always see commercials for the show during SNL), an endorsement from David Mamet (something he failed to give American Buffalo), and a cast of accomplished actors. All of which translated into strong sales for the show, reportedly in the neighborhood of $500,000 a week since the show's October debut. However, all that positive momentum was halted when self-proclaimed master thespian Jeremy Piven abruptly bolted from the play last night due to, get this, very high levels of mercury in his blood. We suppose that's a more plausible excuse than "the dog ate my homework," but not by much. So what happened?
Well, it seems that Piven hadn't exactly been on his A-game of late. Not only had he been making a habit of showing up only minutes before curtain, but during a matinee performance of the show on Saturday, he temporarily disrupted the play to impatiently stare at his watch (while tapping his feet!) when a few theatergoers arrived to their seats late. Then he failed to show up for Tuesday and Wednesday's performances, which led to his being diagnosed by
himselfa team of doctors with that mysterious mercury ailment. All of which prompted David Mamet to issue this instantly classic dis to Variety:"I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury. So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer."