Primary Stages has announced that Joe Pantoliano a.k.a. "Joey Pants" (The Sopranos), who was cast in the role of Yogi Berra in its upcoming production of Bronx Bombers, has left the play because of "artistic differences." Richard Topol (The Normal Heart, The Merchant of Venice) will replace Pantoliano in the role.
Originally scheduled to begin performances on September 17, the production has moved its first performance to September 20. The official opening night remains scheduled for October 8.
Topol joins a cast featuring Francois Battiste (Magic/Bird), Chris Henry Coffey (Water by the Spoonful), Bill Dawes (Lombardi), Christopher Jackson (In the Heights), Wendy Makkena (Side Man), Keith Nobbs (Lombardi), John Wernke (The Lyons), and C.J. Wilson (Happy Now?).
Bronx Bombers, written and directed by Eric Simonson (Lombardi), is a Yankees-inspired drama, telling a generational story about America's favorite pastime through baseball icons such as Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and a number of other legendary players.