Broadway Won't See Lips Together, Teeth Apart This Season

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25 Mar 2010

Joe Mantello
Joe Mantello
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Roundabout Theatre Company has pulled the plug on its spring Broadway production of Terrence McNally's Lips Together, Teeth Apart, owing to the abrupt exit of cast member Megan Mullally.

Artistic director Todd Haimes announced on March 25, a day after it was confirmed that Mullally quit rehearsals, that Lips Together, Teeth Apart will be "postponed."

Mullally, who was to play Chloe Haddock, has made no public statement about why she left the four-person ensemble comedy directed by Joe Mantello. The cast also included David Wilson Barnes as Chloe's husband John Haddock, Patton Oswalt as Sam Truman (Chloe's brother) and Lili Taylor as Sally Truman. Previews were to begin April 9 toward an April 29 opening.

Haimes said in a statement, "We could not find a way to maintain the production schedule under these circumstances. We are now exploring options to produce a show for our subscribers as soon as possible."

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Roundabout confirmed late in the day March 24 that Mullally had withdrawn from the new revival of McNally's 1990s comedy set at a beach house on Fire Island.

Haimes said on March 24, "We were surprised and disappointed that Megan Mullally had to withdraw from the production immediately in breach of her contract. With the loss of Megan in a four-person ensemble, work has been delayed after only two weeks of rehearsal. We have wanted Joe Mantello to direct this comedy since he staged a reading for us three years ago. We expect to announce replacement casting shortly."

McNally said in a statement, "Joe and I were thrilled to be in the rehearsal room with these four actors. Joe is my longest and one of my most trusted collaborators. We have waited and worked for almost three years to make this production happen. Megan Mullally's decision to withdraw at this late date is devastating."

A published report on deadline.com indicated tension between Mullally and Mantello, but that could not be confirmed by Playbill.com.

Mullally is widely known for her starring role in TV's "Will & Grace," and for her work in Broadway's Young Frankenstein and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. She has not made a public statement about her exit.

According to Roundabout, "Lips Together, Teeth Apart takes place on the elegant deck of a beach house on Fire Island. A brother and sister and their respective spouses attempt to celebrate the Fourth of July with a gnawing uncertainty that makes their affluent habits and petty prejudices sizzle in the summer sun. In this unforgettable comedy, Terrence McNally does for the beach house what Chekhov did for the Russian country estate."

Visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.