Macy succeeds Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, who played his final performance Jan. 11. Butz had replaced original star Jeremy Piven, who abruptly departed the production in December 2008 citing high levels of mercury in his system.
In a Dec. 18 statement the play's producers said, "We have been advised by Jeremy Piven's medical representatives that he is seriously ill and is unable to fulfill his contractual obligation to Speed-the-Plow. Consequently, he has left the production ten weeks early."
The producers added, "We are thrilled that Norbert Leo Butz and William H. Macy have joined the production, which stars the outstanding Raul Esparza and the luminous Elisabeth Moss who, under the brilliant direction of Neil Pepe, have received universal critical acclaim for their performances."
William H. Macy received an Oscar nomination for his performance in "Fargo." He also starred in the New York productions of David Mamet's Oleanna and American Buffalo. His screen credits also include "Benny & Joon," "Mr. Holland’s Opus," "Seabiscuit," "Magnolia," "Pleasantville," "Boogie Nights" and "Air Force One." In 2002 he won Emmy Awards for both Lead Actor in a Miniseries and Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries for the TV film "Door to Door."
"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 production, which co-stars Raul Esparza and Elisabeth Moss, is currently playing a limited engagement through Feb. 22.
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 Barrymore Theatre is located at 243 West 47th Street. Tickets are available through Telecharge, (212) 239-6200 or www.telecharge.com.