Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fred Melamed Bows Out of Ethan Coen Play has just posted that Fred Melamed, the great character actor, has backed out of the upcoming Broadway production Relatively Speaking, a series of one-act plays by Ethan Coen, Elaine May, and Woody Allen. According to the article, "Melamed, who was appearing in Coen’s play Talking Cure, left the show after the matinee on October 2, and has been replaced by Allen Lewis Rickman. Melamed and Coen have worked together on films like A Serious Man, but he told the Times that the two were clashing on their Broadway endeavor, and he decided to fulfill a commitment for Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie, The Dictator."

Melamed is quoted as saying, "We kind of weren't together on the character,” Melamed told the paper. “There were things Ethan wanted that I didn’t like, that seemed to take the character in a direction that felt artificial. Stuff I couldn’t really make sense of. I don’t think it was the sort of stuff that I would get fired over. But when my film work began calling for me to take more days off away from the play, we all amicably decided to part ways. I have very affectionate feelings for Ethan and great respect for him as a writer, and all of that stayed intact."


  1. Fred Melamed is truly great. I'm sorry that he left the show, but I'm pretty sure he had good reason. The critics have almost uniformly characterized Coen's play as weak.

  2. J. Hatcher ... I could not agree with you more. Fred Melamed has been fantastic in everything in which I have seen him and, from what I understand from friends who have met him, he is also a standup man in the real world, as well. There is no doubt in my mind that Melamed had good reason to leave the show.