Lips Together, Teeth Apart - Megan Mullally quits

The Roundabout Theatre company have announced that Megan Mullally has quit the cast of their Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s comedy Lips Together, Teeth Apart, directed by Joe Mantello.

The production, currenty in rehearsals, will still open at the American Airline on 29 Apr 2010 as scheduled, but will delay its first preview - which was set for the 9 Apr 2010 - while a replacement for Mullally is found.

Roundabout's artistic director Todd Haimes said in a statement, "We were surprised and disappointed that Megan Mullally had to withdraw from the production immediately in breach of her contract. With the loss of Megan in a four-person ensemble, work has been delayed after only two weeks of rehearsal. We have wanted Joe Mantello to direct this comedy since he staged a reading for us three years ago. We expect to announce replacement casting shortly."

McNally also said about the exit, "Joe and I were thrilled to be in the rehearsal room with these four actors. Joe is my longest and one of my most trusted collaborators. We have waited and worked for almost three years to make this production happen. Megan Mullally's decision to withdraw at this late date is devastating."

There has been no comment from Megan Mullally about her departure, but it follows rumors of conflicts between herself and director Joe Mantello during rehearsals. reports that Mullally "had had enough of the abrasive manner of director Joe Mantello."

Mullally, who was to have played "Chloe Haddock," departs a cast that features Patton Oswalt (Sam Truman), Lili Taylor (Sally Truman) and David Wilson Barnes (John Haddock).

Megan Mullally is best known for her two-time Emmy and four-time SAG Award-winning role as 'Karen Walker' on the NBC Series “Will & Grace.” Her Broadway credits include 'Grease,' 'How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying' and 'Young Frankenstein.' Most recently she appeared on NBC’s “Park and Recreation,” on the big screen in 2009’s 'Fame' based on the hit 1980 film, and in her critically acclaimed performance as 'Beverly Wilkins' in the West Coast debut of 'The Receptionist' at the Odyssey Theatre. Mullally is currently in development on 'Karen: The Musical,' based on the character she made infamous on “Will & Grace.”

Lips Together, Teeth Apart takes place on the elegant deck of a beach house on Fire Island. A brother and sister and their respective spouses attempt to celebrate the Fourth of July with a gnawing uncertainty that makes their affluent habits and petty prejudices sizzle in the summer sun. In this comedy, Terrence McNally does for the beach house what Chekhov did for the Russian country estate.

The design team includes John Lee Beatty (Sets), Tom Broecker (Costumes), Paul Gallo (Lights) and Darron West (Sound).

Terrence McNally and Joe Mantello most recently collaborated at Roundabout Theatre Company on the comedy 'The Ritz' at Studio 54. Joe Mantello, who is an associate artist at Roundabout Theatre Company, received a Tony Award for staging the 2004 Tony winning production of 'Assassins.' He also directed Noël Coward’s Design for Living and Rodgers & Hart’s 'Pal Joey.'

Megan Mullally