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Silver drops out of ‘Glass’

Less than a week before the end of its grueling New Haven tryout, Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass” suffered an unanticipated blow Tuesday, when Ron Silver pulled out of the Broadway-bound production that also stars Amy Irving and Ron Rifkin.

Silver will be replaced by David Dukes, producer Robert Whitehead said, adding that Dukes is expected to appear with the cast before the end of the play’s scheduled run at the Long Wharf Theater this weekend.

Staged by John Tillinger, the play is slated to begin performances April 12 at the Booth Theater, with an official opening on April 24.

Historical drama

In the play, set in Brooklyn in 1938, Silver played a doctor treating a woman suffering from a mysterious crippling disease and married to a man who hasn’t slept with her for 20 years. “Broken Glass”– the title refers to Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass — has had a difficult development.

“No actor could have been more cooperative and professional in his efforts to serve the play,” Whitehead said in a statement announcing the change.

No reason was given for Silver’s withdrawal. But in his tryout review (Variety, March 14), Markland Taylor wrote that the play had yet to “make the leap from page to stage,” and singled out Silver’s performance for having “no feeling whatsoever for the specific period in which the play is set.”

Silver last appeared on Broadway in 1988, in David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow,” for which he won a Tony Award. In 1991, he played the title role in the Boston tryout of David Hirson’s “La Bete,” but was not part of the company when that show got to New York.

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