Naturally, the fishing industry lobby -- and lots of New York sushi restaurants -- went nuts, claiming Piven's illness was nothing but a fishy story concocted to let Piven break his contract and leave the run of the play. Even Mamet weighed in on Piven's supposed sickness: "I understand Jeremy is leaving show business," Mamet told Variety, "to pursue a career as a thermometer."
Back in January, the New York Times ran a fascinating feature story about testing sushi-grade tuna and finding high levels of mercury.
The other day, I saw a friend of mine pausing at the refrigerated seafood case at Cosentino's Brookside Market and picking up a plastic tray filled with neatly arranged pieces of prepared sushi. I walked up to him and said, "What do you think of Jeremy Piven getting mercury poisoning from eating sushi?"