UPDATE, MONDAY 1:40 p.m.: MCC Theatre Co-Artistic Director Bernard Telsey released a statement this afternoon confirming that Elizabeth Reaser (True Detective, The Good Wife) will replace Heather Graham in Neil LaBute’s The Money Shot. “We wish her well,” he said of Graham. The show is still scheduled to begin performances September 4 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that just three days after a press meet-and-greet for Neil LaBute’s new play The Money Shot, Heather Graham is parting ways with the company to focus on her film, Half Magic. The play, produced by MCC Theatre, is slated to begin performances Sept. 4 at the Lucille Lortel Theater in Greenwich Village, with an official opening Sept. 22 for a limited run through October 12. LaBute is MCC’s Playwright-In-Residence; the director is Terry Kinney.
In the play, Graham (Boogie Nights, Drugstore Cowboy, etc.) was to play half of a once-glamorous pair of Hollywood stars desperate for a comeback hit. The project they choose pushes them to see just how far they will go to reclaim past glory. Cast includes Gia Crovatin, Callie Thorne and Frederick Weller. LaBute has a long history with MCC, co-founded by artistic director Robert LuPone and casting mogul Bernard Telsey.
Graham wrote Half Magic, will she’ll direct and star in, opposite Josh Lucas. According to earlier reports, it’s about a woman who wants a nice guy and great sex, preferably in the same package. My source says all the pieces for the film finally came together, forcing her to give up her first New York stage appearance since 2003. No word yet on her replacement.