Monday, December 29, 2008

Daisey Skewers Butz

I applaud Mike Daisey for being one of the braver performers out there. He saddles onto the stage with a set of notes and a glass of water like gunslinger at high noon to deliver a fast pace, brash, and poignant performance. He is also just coming off an Off Broadway production deemed highly successful in some circles.

It is with this level of NYC theater street cred that gives him the voice to lambaste Norman Leo Butz's performance in the revival of "Speed the Plow". Lead Actor Jeremy Piven (who I respected a whole lot more before Entourage) famously dropped out due to Mercury Poisoning (Rumors that heavy drug use and lack of committment forced Piven out). Butz has been tapped to jump in and take the stage.

However after a few weeks of rehearsals and such, apparently he's not off book and he's using prompters off stage, and he's... on the stage. It's a little perplexing because for Gosh Darn Sakes, this is Broadway, not some College Stage Production. So, Daisy Really takes him to task, calling his work pretty much unacceptable. I think it's a matter of an actor being a little overwhelmed by the pressure of carrying a straight play on broadway. However, producers are sticking with him, what choice do they have? However, even I think that being a well paid stand in, you should be doing everything in your power to be at least off book. I have no idea what level of committment his co-stars are giving him... maybe they don't want to rehearse. However, memorization is like breathing to an actor... it's not something you should have a hard time doing.

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