The exact reasoning behind Dunaway's removal has not been confirmed but sources told the New York Post that the actor had been hard to work with, fostering a "hostile" work environment and there had been allegations of an altercation with a crew member.
The new version, produced by Ben Feldman and Scott Beck, streamlined the two-act format into 90 minutes and focused primarily on Hepburn in 1983 as she recovers from her auto accident injury and looks back on her famed romance with Spencer Tracy.
The reps for Tea at Five, though, insist that the potential Broadway run wasn't canceled as a result of Dunaway's termination, noting that "no dates for Broadway were announced".
The Oscar-winning actress was cast to play Katharine Hepburn in the bio-play but in the weeks leading up to the pre-Broadway tryout, things started to spiral out of control.
"She seemed committed to the role, and fun to be around", said a source.
Someone allegedly gave her a salad for lunch and she threw it on the floor. Once, she threw a salad on the ground apparently because she was trying to lose weight, saying that the salad would be better on the floor than in her hand. Yet the actor also had her defenders. She looked so emaciated that a production member called Dunaway's former assistant for advice.
"Ninety-eight percent of the play came through the earpiece", said the source, while another crew member said that no one was allowed to wear white during rehearsals because it "distracts me", the actress was alleged to have said. Dunaway was set to play Hepburn. While playing Maria Callas in playwright Terrence McNally's "Master Class" she demanded hotel bellhops re-arrange the furniture in her room.
I managed to track her down back then and she was charming on the phone.