Reviews

Ink by the Carload

I tend to shy away from biographical readings of texts.  But consider: David Mamet’s new play, The Penitent, is about a psychologist, Charles (Chris Bauer), who treats a patient who goes on to murder ten people.  In his manifesto, this patient, frequently referred to as “the Boy,” accuses Charles of homophobia, and a newspaper covering […]

Read more
Reviews

Voicing Ghosts

Ghosts hover in the wings of two short plays by David Mamet, “Prairie du Chien” and “The Shawl,” currently paired on Atlantic Stage 2.  In “Prairie du Chien,” a raconteur (Jordan Lage) passes the time on a train by telling the story of a man who murdered his wife and hanged himself after discovering her affair with […]

Read more
Reviews

Clash of Civilizations Over a Chai in the Upper West Side

Being a Jew is exhausting.  There’s the self-loathing, the guilt, the language (which doesn’t even use Roman letters), and—for those of us born after 1948—the inescapable identification of Jewishness with Auschwitz.  Even the question of what it means to consider oneself a Jew is too complex for any reasonable person to try to answer completely.  […]

Read more
Reviews

Under His Thumb

People who are a little smart and a lot insecure love to associate with lesser minds.  They will make allusions with the sole intention of being asked to explain them and they will quietly correct others’ mistakes—only doing so quietly so they can repeat the corrections louder, all the while pretending it’s no big deal.  […]

Read more
Reviews

Et cetera

Neil LaBute has always struck me as occasionally nastily observant but mostly just plain nasty, though his play Some Girl(s), currently running at the Chain Theatre, suffers more from endless tedium than anything else; “predictably shocking” is an oxymoron, and once you figure out what Mr. LaBute is up to, he loses about ninety percent […]

Read more
Reviews

Lord, Don’t They Help Themselves?

A night of drunken revelries on the eve of midterms finds Leigh (Zosia Mamet) in bed with Davis (Matt Lauria) while her boyfriend, Jimmy (Evan Jonigkeit), is out of town.  Leigh cries rape—and Davis, who blacked out, can’t remember—though both Leigh’s best friend, the closeted lesbian Grace (Lauren Culpepper), and Davis’ roommate, Cooper (David Hull), […]

Read more
Reviews

Death of a Fucking Salesman

2012 has been a year of great Broadway revivals—first Death of a Salesman, followed by Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—and now David Mamet’s masterpiece Glengarry Glen Ross, likely the best American play of the last thirty years.

Read more