Mary Tyler Moore Quits Broadway Show
Mary Tyler Moore has walked out of "Rose's Dilemma," the new Neil Simon play scheduled to open off-Broadway in two weeks, reports The New York Times.
Moore, 67, reportedly missed both the matinee and evening performances Wednesday, and her understudy, Patricia Hodges, went on.
In a statement to The Times for Friday's editions, Mara Buxbaum, a spokeswoman for Moore, said, "Mary was devastated and completely debilitated personally and professionally. Mary has been working tirelessly for months but feels pushed out of this production."
The star was seen storming out the backstage door minutes before the 2 p.m. curtain on Wednesday, after having just received a brusque letter written by Simon reproaching her for not knowing her lines, reports The Times.
Simon, 76, is one of Broadway's most successful playwrights, perhaps best known for "The Odd Couple" and "The Sunshine Boys." But several reports say this latest effort was not getting the laughs that Simon is accustomed to, and he was blaming Moore for her delivery of his lines. Simon also has been in failing health, undergoing kidney dialysis, says the New York Post.
To keep up with Simon's constant revisions of the play, Moore reportedly wore an earpiece through which she was being fed her lines.
"We are disappointed that the Neil Simon-Mary Tyler Moore collaboration did not work out," Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove, who run the Manhattan Theater Club (which is producing the show), said in a joint statement. "We respect enormously the talents of both Ms. Moore and Mr. Simon."
It is unlikely that the show will open as scheduled, say reports. In "Rose's Dilemma," Moore played Rose Steiner, a writer struggling to pay the bills and haunted by the memory of her dead lover, a writer named Walsh McLaren, played by former "Northern Exposure" star John Cullum.