After Ben Stiller and Danny DeVito dropped out of the revival in recent months, the producing team of Robert Cole, Allan S. Gordon, Elan V. McAllister & Jam Theatricals are postponing their staging until next season, a spokesman confirmed. Director Daniel Sullivan is still to shepherd the play come 2003-04. The original announced start date was Jan. 7, 2003, but that's now been scotched.
Film star Ben Stiller was to have played hot-shot real estate shark Roma, but dropped out in early August. "My priorities changed after the birth of my daughter," Stiller told gossip maven Liz Smith, "and the reality of being separated from my family for the better part of eight months caused me to rethink my commitment."
DeVito, too, is seemingly a devoted family man. Variety reported that he chose to remain in L.A., where he can be closer to his family. DeVito was to have played the lead role of Shelley Levine.
DeVito, star of "Taxi" on the small screen and "Romancing the Stone" and "Throw Mamma From the Train" on the large, has never before appeared on Broadway. Casting is ongoing for the 2003-04 production.
The original Broadway production played less than a year at the Golden Theatre, March 1984 to February 1985, but was embraced by critics. Mamet won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the script, about the lengths men will hustle for success in a Chicago real estate office. Gregory Mosher directed a cast that included Joe Mantegna (who snagged the Tony Award that year for Best Featured Actor), Mike Nussbaum, Robert Prosky, Lane Smith, James Tolkan, Jack Wallace and J. T. Walsh. The play was seen in London before New York.