The limited engagement began previews at the Barrymore Oct. 3, 2008, with an official opening Oct. 23. When it closes, the production, which recouped its original investment, will have played 141 performances.
The opening-night cast included Raul Esparza, most recently on Broadway in the revival of The Homecoming (for which he was Tony Award-nominated), as Hollywood producer Charlie Fox; Jeremy Piven, the Chicago actor best known for his Emmy-winning work as Ari Gold on HBO's "Entourage," as production exec Bobby Gould; and Elisabeth Moss, who can be seen as Peggy Olson on AMC's Emmy-winning "Mad Men," as temp secretary Karen.
Piven abruptly departed the production in December 2008 citing high levels of mercury in his system. Norbert Leo Butz, a Tony winner for his work in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, assumed the role of Gould Dec. 23, 2008, and played the part through Jan. 11, 2009. Stage and screen star William H. Macy played Gould Jan. 13 through closing. (Drama Desk Award winner Jordan Lage, the Gould understudy, played a brief stint prior to Butz's arrival.)
The producers of the Plow revival filed a grievance with Actors' Equity Association regarding Piven's abrupt exit. The grievance hearing will be held Feb. 26.
"Speed-the-Plow focuses on two high-powered Hollywood executives, Charlie Fox and Bobby Gould, who have come up from the mailroom together," according to press notes. "Charlie brings Bobbie a surefire hit with a major star attached. Bobby seems certain to give the green light, until his beautiful new secretary gets involved." The design team featured Tony Award-winning scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Laura Bauer and Tony-winning lighting designer Brian MacDevitt.
Producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, JK Productions, Ronald Frankel, Ostar Productions, Peggy Hill, Bat-Barry Productions, Ken Davenport, Scott Delman, Ergo Entertainment, Dede Harris, Alan D. Marks, Patty Ann McKinnon, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Adam Sansiveri, Jamie deRoy and Carl Moellenberg.
The Ethel Barrymore Theatre is located at 243 West 47th Street. For tickets call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.