Jeremy Piven

Since Jeremy Piven's abrupt departure last week, Broadway's Speed-the-Plow may soon also be known as Slow-the-Sales.

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the Entourage star's sudden absence, the David Mamet play earned $326,559 — nearly $160,000 less than the previous week according to figures obtained by The Associated Press. The production's venue was at about 50 percent capacity during the week's performances.

Piven, who's known for playing sharp-tongued talent agent Ari Gold, got the public buzzing last week when his doctor cited "profound elevated mercury level" as the reason for the actor's sudden departure from the play. Prior to dropping out of the production, Piven was hospitalized for three days with symptoms from the condition, including muscle weakness and dizziness. Piven's sushi intake of two meals daily was blamed in part for the malady.

Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz will be stepping in for Piven through Jan. 11, when longtime Mamet collaborator William H. Macy will take on the role through the show's final performance on Feb. 22. Piven's understudy Jordan Lage has replaced him for eight performances.

Do you think that Mamet's production, a satire of Hollywood, will rebound?