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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Jeremy Piven has abruptly left the hit Broadway revival of David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow,” blaming a high mercury count, Daily Variety reported in its Thursday edition.

The Hollywood satire opened to strong reviews in October and Piven had been expected to perform his role as a foul-mouthed studio executive until late February.

But after missing Tuesday night’s performance and a Wednesday matinee, Piven took his doctors’ advice that he should end his run immediately because of a high mercury count, the paper quoted a spokeswoman for the actor as saying.

Mamet appeared to be skeptical.

“I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury,” Mamet told Daily Variety. “So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.”

I wonder how often the average actor gets tested for mercury levels? Maybe it’s just the stress of living in the skin of Rahm Emanuel’s brother.


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