Stephen Payne has joined the principal cast of Broadway’s Straight White Men, replacing Tony nominee Denis Arndt in the role of Ed. The production is currently in previews at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater.
Arndt himself was a late addition to the cast, stepping in for Tom Skerritt days before performances began June 30 (instead of the initially scheduled June 29). Arndt departs due to "creative differences," according to representatives for Second Stage.
Opening night is still set for July 23.
Payne was originally cast as the understudy for patriarch Ed; he had been performing the role in the first week of previews while Arndt rehearsed. His additional Broadway credits include Of Mice and Men, Superior Donuts, and August: Osage County.
Anna D. Shapiro directs the production, which also features five performers making their Broadway debuts: Armie Hammer, Josh Charles, Paul Schneider, Kate Bornstein, and Ty Defoe.
The Young Jean Lee comedy follows a father and his three adult sons who come together to celebrate Christmas over board games and takeout. The play subverts the traditional family drama by becoming an exploration of American values, of capitalist belief systems versus social justice systems, and of identity and privilege.