Fred Melamed Departs Broadway's Relatively Speaking

News   Fred Melamed Departs Broadway's Relatively Speaking Cast member Fred Melamed has left the Broadway production of Relatively Speaking, the new trio of comedies by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen, according to the New York Times. The production has been in previews since Sept. 20 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Fred Melamed
Fred Melamed Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Melamed, who has a working history with filmmaker and playwright Ethan Coen, departed the production following the Oct. 2 matinee. The actor cited creative differences over his take on a role in Coen's one-act Talking Cure. Allen Lewis Rickman has stepped in for Melamed.

"We kind of weren't together on the character. There were things Ethan wanted that I didn’t like, that seemed to take the character in a direction that felt artificial. Stuff I couldn’t really make sense of. I don’t think it was the sort of stuff that I would get fired over. But when my film work began calling for me to take more days off away from the play, we all amicably decided to part ways," Melamed told the New York Times.

Melamed said his relationship with Coen has remained intact following his departure from the production. The actor is set to begin work on "The Dictator," the new movie from Sacha Baron Cohen.

Opening night for Relatively Speaking, which is directed by John Turturro, remains Oct. 20. The cast also includes Caroline Aaron, Bill Army, Lisa Emery, Ari Graynor, Steve Guttenberg, Danny Hoch, Julie Kavner, Grant Shaud, Marlo Thomas, Katherine Borowitz, Jason Kravits, Richard Libertini, Mark Linn-Baker and Patricia O'Connell.

The cast of Talking Cure, in which Ethan Coen "uncovers the sort of insanity that can come only from family," includes Danny Hoch, Katherine Borowitz, Jason Kravits and Allen Lewis Rickman. The cast of George is Dead, in which Elaine May "explores the hilarity of death," comprises Lisa Emery, Fred Melamed, Patricia O'Connell, Grant Shaud and Marlo Thomas.

The cast of Honeymoon Motel, in which Woody Allen "invites you to the sort of wedding day you won’t forget," features Caroline Aaron, Bill Army, Mark Linn-Baker, Ari Graynor, Steve Guttenberg, Julie Kavner, Jason Kravits, Richard Libertini and Grant Shaud.

The production also features scenic design by Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominee Santo Loquasto, costume design by Donna Zakowska, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Carl Casella.

Relatively Speaking is produced by Julian Schlossberg and Letty Aronson and co-produced by Edward Walson, Leroy Schecter, Tom Sherak, Daveed D. Frazier and Roy Furman.

Among Woody Allen's films are "Annie Hall," "Manhattan," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Husbands and Wives," "Love and Death," "Stardust Memories," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and many more (about one a year since the 1970s). His plays include Don't Drink the Water (1966), Death Knocks (1968), Play It Again, Sam (1969), Death (1975), God (1975), The Query (1976), My Apology (1980), The Floating Light Bulb (1981), Death Defying Acts (1995), Writer's Block (2003) and A Second Hand Memory (2004).

Ethan Coen's plays include Offices and Almost an Evening. He has made numerous films with his brother Joel, including the Academy Award-winning "No Country for Old Men" and "Fargo," plus "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," "Raising Arizona," "Barton Fink," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "The Big Lebowski" and "Burn After Reading."

Elaine May started her career in The Second City, where she began a successful partnership with Mike Nichols. The two appeared in clubs, on TV and Broadway. May earned a Drama Desk Award for her play Adaptation, a one-act which she directed along with Terrence McNally's Next. Other plays that she has penned include Death Defying Acts, Taller than a Dwarf, Adult Entertainment, Power Plays and After the Night and the Music. She wrote, directed and starred in her first film, "A New Leaf," with Walter Matthau. She wrote and directed "Mikey & Nicky," starring Peter Falk and John Cassavetes. She directed "The Heartbreak Kid" and received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of "Heaven Can Wait." Her acting credits in film include "California Suite," "Enter Laughing," "In the Spirit" and "Small Time Crooks" (National Film Critics Award). She wrote the screenplays for "The Birdcage" and "Primary Colors" (British Academy of Film and Television Award), which reunited her with Mike Nichols, who directed both films.

Visit www.relativelyspeakingbroadway.com.

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