January 18, 2015 |
David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre arrives at Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio 3 at just the right time. After a month when the world has been awash in horrors, this small backstage comedy gets back to basics and celebrates the people (two of them, anyway) who, for our escapist pleasure, make their lives out of make-believe. This play premiered in 1977, and you can practically feel the energy of Mamet's early successes, as he turns theater conventions inside out, all while working firmly within them.
August 14, 2014 |
Zosia Mamet on her secret Zosia Mamet , 26, who plays one of Lena Dunham 's Gen-Zero pals in HBO's Girls writes in the September issue of Glamour that she has battled an unspecified eating disorder since childhood. "This struggle has been mostly a private one. . . . But the truth is, I'm not alone. I have come to discover that 30 million other Americans share the same secret," writes Mamet, who has a regular column in the mag. "If you are lucky enough never to have battled this beast, let me tell you what it's like: I was told I was fat for the first time when I was 8. I'm not fat; I've never been fat," writes Mamet, who is the daughter of renowned playwright, essayist, and filmmaker David Mamet and his ex, actress Lindsay Crouse . "But ever since then, there has been a monster in my brain that tells me I am - that convinces me my clothes don't fit or that I've eaten too much.
October 26, 2013 |
Cock , by Mike Bartlett, is occasionally, for both thematic and practical reasons, called The Cockfight Play . In a bisexual love triangle with one spectacularly indecisive young man at its apex, his lovers battling for his affections, there's bound to be some bloodletting. But Theatre Exile's funny, sensitive production, directed by Deborah Block and staged in the round on a low, hexagonal wooden platform, feels more like a slow, sad game of Chinese checkers. This is not an insult.
May 24, 2013 |
If you only know Ricky Jay from his side career - as a character actor looming like a sinister talisman in the films of David Mamet, and in other work requiring an enigmatic and sometimes menacing presence - then you don't know the man at all. Molly Bernstein's Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay will remedy the situation. A charmingly seductive portrait of one of the great illusionists and card magicians of our time (and perhaps of any time), the documentary spans Jay's remarkable career, from beaming boy - he was little Richard Jay Potash, of Brooklyn, entertaining friends and family with his magic act - to the contented gent he is today.
March 24, 2013 |
Was Phil Spector actually guilty of the Feb. 3, 2003, murder of Lana Clarkson? That question was posed repeatedly by the media in increasing tones of hysteria over the six years it took for Spector to be tried, retried, found guilty, and sentenced to serve 19 years to life in prison. It's raised yet again in Phil Spector , a fascinating, maddening, and ultimately unsatisfying 90-minute biopic starring Al Pacino as the music producer and Helen Mirren as one of his attorneys, Linda Kenney Baden.
April 16, 2009 |
" 'Cause there's business and there's friendship . . . and what you got to do is keep clear who your friends are. . . . Or else the rest is garbage. . . . " There is plenty of garbage in David Mamet's fierce and funny play American Buffalo, currently at Theatre Exile. Set in a junk shop that is clearly a metaphor for America, three bunglers try to plan a stupid heist that involves a valuable buffalo nickel. The American buffalo - coin and animal - is long gone, along with the delusive values of that home on the range.
October 25, 2008 |
"Now we Americans have always considered Hollywood, at best, a sinkhole of depraved venality. And, of course, it is. " David Mamet wrote that in his 1986 essay "A Playwright in Hollywood," a year after he wrote Speed-the-Plow, his viciously entertaining indictment of the movie industry. Theater loves to hate Hollywood, and nobody can hate it better than a playwright who's been seduced by the big-money-beautiful-women blandishments of moviemaking, as Mamet was, and so many others before and after him. But, hey, due respect.
May 9, 2008 |
'There is no situation you cannot turn to your advantage," says Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a jujitsu master with a Zen attitude and a bankrupt business. In Redbelt , a David Mamet-job full of tough patter, repetitive queries and poker-face actors walking in and out of rooms, Mike tries to practice what he preaches: turning a series of unlucky events to his favor. But Mamet, whose writing here isn't as crackling nor as colorful as it has been in films such as The Spanish Prisoner or The Winslow Boy , surrounds Ejiofor's insistently honorable Mike with two-dimensional charlatans and shills: a shifty loan shark (David Paymer)
May 8, 2008 |
Not so many years ago, "Redbelt" would have been a boxing movie. Certainly, boxing buffs will recognize this story - bruised fighters hewing to some kind of warrior code in a sleazy business where the dirtiest fighting is done by men in suits - the only guys who always get paid. But boxing, as someone says in "Redbelt," is as "dead as Woodrow Wilson. " Mixed Martial Arts has captured the fancy of a new generation, kids who know Kimbo Slice from YouTube but couldn't name the WBC heavyweight champ to save their Wii. MMA is where the money is, and that, says "Redbelt" writer/director David Mamet, means MMA will be subject to the same moral metrics as boxing, to wit: Any time two men fight for money, the fix is in. At least that's how it goes in "Redbelt," a neo-noir, MMA movie featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mike Terry, a jujitsu instructor so absorbed in its concepts of honor that he won't sully the purity of his discipline by fighting in competitions (fight only to prevail, he says, never to merely compete)
January 19, 2008 |
This was a double-feature day, starting with the matinee of a new play imported from Dublin's Abbey Theatre as part of the Public Theatre's "Under the Radar" Festival. Terminus, by Mark O'Rowe, is terrific, full of crazy violence and wild language (it's all in rhyme, kind of like Irish rap without music). It's inventive, risky, and completely engrossing. I mention this because those are the kind of things people used to say about David Mamet - back when he was writing American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross.