Len Cariou and the producers of his current play have buried the hatchet after the 80-year-old star quit earlier this week.
Page Six exclusively reported that the legendary theater star, 80, was walking away from the show, “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand,” and its producers said they’d have to drop the curtain on the play as a result. But after our story ran, cooler heads prevailed it seems, and Cariou’s coming back.
“Our show is a comedy about how families sometimes don’t talk to each other, but can love each other, and that’s exactly what happened here,” the show’s producer Dennis Grimaldi told us in a statement. He chalked up all the backstage drama to a “terrible miscommunication about dates.” “We’re one big happy family again,” he said.
The off-Broadway two-hander stars Cariou with Craig Bierko as his son. But Bierko’s ending his run, and producers alleged that Cariou refused to rehearse with his replacement, David Lansbury. Exasperated reps for the show told us earlier this week of the situation: “Cariou is refusing to rehearse with a cast replacement [Lansbury] or perform with an understudy. His actions are causing [the show] to close prematurely.” They added, “Len gave his notice on Friday … leaving no time to find a replacement.”
But as of Wednesday, the reps said, “Cariou begins rehearsal [with Lansbury] this week, and performances resume on Monday at New York City Center Stage II.”
Cariou’s contract runs till mid-May. The actor is an icon for originating the role of “Sweeney Todd” on Broadway in 1979, for which he won the Tony.
According to a New York Times review, “Harry Townsend’s Last Stand” is “about life’s final stretch and the wrenching decisions that accompany it.” The notice said Cariou turns in “a touching mix of braggadocio and vulnerability.” The show was written by George Eastman, and is directed by Karen Carpenter.
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