Mary Tyler Moore(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Mary Tyler Moore
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
It has just been announced that Mary Tyler Moore has left the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Neil Simon's Rose's Dilemma, currently in previews at the theater's Stage 1 venue at City Center.

The role of Rose has been assumed by Moore's understudy, Patricia Hodges, who has appeared on Broadway in Design for Living, The Best Man, Six Degrees of Separation, and other shows. The cast of Rose's Dilemma also includes John Cullum, David Aaron Baker, and Geneva Carr; the production is directed by Lynne Meadow and features set design by Thomas Lynch, costume design by William Ivey Long, and lighting design by Pat Collins.

"We are disappointed that the Neil Simon/Mary Tyler Moore collaboration did not work out," Meadow and Barry Grove said of the production, which is still scheduled to open on December 18. "We respect enormously the talents of both Ms. Moore and Mr. Simon." According to an item in Variety, a letter from Simon criticizing Moore's performance was received by the star prior to yesterday's matinee. Moore subsequently missed both performances yesterday.

Manhattan Theatre Club's current Broadway production of Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour was plagued by the departure of two cast members prior to the show's opening -- Laura Benanti during rehearsals and Jasmine Guy during previews. Neil Simon's most recent Broadway show, 45 Seconds From Broadway, saw the replacement before opening night of Joan Copeland (with Rebecca Schull) and Carol Woods (with Lynda Gravatt), and recent workshop presentations of Simon's Sweet Charity have seen a succession of leading ladies from Jenna Elfman to Marisa Tomei to Jane Krakowski.