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Replacement impresses in first performance of ART’s ‘WARHOLCAPOTE’

Actor Dan Butler stepped in to costar in “WARHOLCAPOTE” at the American Repertory Theater on short notice.

Courtesy of American Repertory Theater

Actor Dan Butler stepped in to costar in “WARHOLCAPOTE” at the American Repertory Theater on short notice.

Dan Butler joined the cast of the American Repertory Theater’s production of “WARHOLCAPOTE” on very short notice. Indeed, Leslie Jordan, the actor who’d been slated to play Truman Capote in the show, withdrew for “unforeseen personal circumstances” just days before the play was due to begin previews for its world premiere.

Well, Sunday was the first preview performance, and one audience member we spoke to said Butler (inset) more than held his own opposite two-time Tony winner Stephen Spinella, who plays Andy Warhol. Butler had the script in hand throughout, but even still, our source said the actor, who played George Wallace in Robert Schenkkan’s LBJ bio-play “All the Way” at the ART, was a convincing Capote.

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Before the show started, director Michael Mayer walked onstage and told the audience that Butler had just joined the show. He did not specify why Jordan had abruptly withdrawn from the production after rehearsing since early August.

At one point during Sunday’s performance, Butler paused because he said his script was missing a page. Still in character, Spinella retrieved the page from the prompter in the front row and handed it to Butler. The crowd roared its approval, we’re told.

“WARHOLCAPOTE,” which is adapted by Rob Roth from recorded conversations between Warhol and Capote, runs through Oct. 13 at the Loeb Drama Center.

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