Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Race To The Start

Race To The Start

There's no disputing that with five of his plays having trod Broadway's boards over as many recent years, playwright, screenwriter and provocateur David Mamet is back with a vengeance.

Now, the world premiere for his latest work Race is set to begin previews November 16 at Rialto's Ethel Barrymore Theatre, the same venue that gave birth to the Broadway premieres of Mamet's American Buffalo (1977) and November (2008), as well as the acclaimed revival of Speed-The-Plow (2008-09). Marking Mamet's directorial debut on the Great White Way, Race will open December 6 for an open-ended engagement.

While the contents of Race are highly secretive, there's no doubt it's another super-charged, combustible work. Indeed, the play's advertising campaign succinctly describes Race:

From Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet, comes his most explosive four-letter word yet. Race.
And they're not talking about a sporting event in which humans, horses or cars circle around a track. With David Alan Grier, James Spader, Richard Thomas and Kerry Washington on deck, it's safe to say that this show revolves, at least in part, around the color of one's skin.

While not tipping his hat regarding the plot, Thomas has been quoted by blogger Jon Sobel saying Race is:

so complex, so many perspectives -- to talk about the plot would be reductive. A quick summation would make it seem much simpler than it is. It's about things that no one says. It's strong stuff. Provocative, but not shocking for the sake of being shocking.
As Mamet enjoys a renaissance with a decidedly less liberal voice, my curiosity is once again piqued. I loved Speed-The-Plow and was quite blown away by the current Broadway revival of Oleanna, but I wasn't quite as enthused by Mamet's last new work November.

Still, as one of America's foremost playwrights, Mamet is likely to challenge your mind in a Race to the finish.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 10 November, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

I know I'm in the minority on this but I was not a big fan of Speed-the-Plow. Raul Esparza was amazing. Jeremy Piven was not.

I'm kind of on the fence about David Mamet. Sometimes I think he writes points of view he wants to get across disguised as characters!

Still, I'm interested to see what he has to say about race in America. Plus - and this is a major selling point - Richard Thomas. I've loved him since I was a kid watching The Waltons and I'd love to see him on stage!

At 11 November, 2009, Anonymous Julie said...

I'm intrigued by one name: James Spader. Will his intensity and quirkiness translate to the stage well? I'm looking forward to finding out.

At 11 November, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Esther, I have to be honest. I was a bit disappointed with Thomas in Democracy a few years back - truth be told, I was disappointed by the entire production. But like you, I'm looking forward to seeing him again on the stage.

At 11 November, 2009, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Julie, Given that this is James Spader's Broadway debut and hasn't acted in a play in years, it will be very interesting to see how well he can transition here. Like you, I'm looking forward to finding out.

At 12 November, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am very interested in seeing James Spader on the stage. I have loved him in films and on TV and am hoping he is just as good on stage. I am betting he will be wonderful.


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