Asked by columnist Michael Riedel whether he enjoyed performing on Broadway, David was quoted saying, “It was an experience. Much like the army. But I didn’t re-up for that, and I’m not going to re-up for this.”
No reason was given for the decision.
David reportedly was offered a lucrative chance to recreate his performance in Los Angeles. "The word ‘no’ has never come out of my mouth faster,” he said.
Alexander offered a glimmer of hope for David fans, giving the opinion that the ban applies only to performing. "I think — I hope — he will continue to write plays," Alexander said. "But if you did not see Larry David at the Cort Theatre, you are not going to see him on Broadway again.”
Although the hit Broadway comedy Fish in the Dark has slipped off the sellout list since Tony Award-winning comic actor Alexander replaced author/star David June 9, Alexander is proving to be a strong-enough draw that the show, which was scheduled to end its limited run July 19, was extended to Aug. 1. No further extension was announced. *
Alexander is best known to the general public for playing George Costanza on the sitcom "Seinfeld," for which David was head writer. Alexander won the 1989 Tony as Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Jerome Robbins Broadway, made his Broadway debut in the original cast of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1981 Merrily We Roll Along, and made his last Broadway appearance in 1990's Accomplice. Alexander is starring in the film version of the Off-Broadway musical Lucky Stiff which opens July 24.
"I left Broadway 25 years ago because Larry David co-created the show that would change my life and career,” Alexander said in an earlier statement. “It is totally amazing that he also created the show that would bring me back to Broadway. I am thrilled I get to do this hilarious play for him and with this wonderful cast. It is quite simply more fun than any bald man should have."
David said at the time, "Not only was I fortunate enough to write for Jason Alexander on 'Seinfeld,' but I also had a ringside seat watching his brilliant, indelible performances. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I heard he was replacing me in Fish in the Dark. Finally I can enjoy the show.”
Alexander returned in a show that is already something of a blockbuster. Prior to its first preview (Feb. 2), the world premiere of Fish in the Dark had taken in more than $13.5 million in advance sales at the box office. That figure was the highest advance for any spring production on Broadway and, according to the New York Times, beats the previous record for a play, $13.05 million for the 2013 revival of Harold Pinter's Betrayal (produced by Scott Rudin, the producer of Fish in the Dark). David finished his stint on a high note. The show sold $1,246,196 worth of tickets for the week ending June 7, an all-time record for the Cort Theatre.
Glenne Headly, who earned an Emmy nominations in "Bastard Out of Carolina" and played Tess Truehart in the movie "Dick Tracy," took over the role of Brenda Drexel in the play June 9. A former member of the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble, Headly has extensive stage credits, including The Philanthropist at Manhattan Theatre Club and the New Group's 2013 The Jacksonian.
The play, from the creator and star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and co-creator of “Seinfeld," is directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro.
Alexander made a surprise appearance in the comedy June 4, performing a walk-on in the minor role of the second doctor. The cameo was confirmed by a production spokesperson, who issued the following statement: "Last night at the Cort Theatre, Jason Alexander surprised author and star Larry David with a walk-on cameo in the second act of the play."
Here is a video of the surprise appearance, provided by the production:
Fish in the Dark is described as "a comedy about a death in the family."
The production has scenic design by Todd Rosenthal, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and sound design by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen.
Fish is produced by Rudin.
Show times are Monday-Saturday at 8 PM with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM. Beginning March 10, show times will be Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PM and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.