The Penitent by David Mamet: Review and Pics

The Penitent, David Mamet’s latest play, is about the ethical dilemmas facing a psychiatrist whose patient has gone on a killing spree. At least that’s what it seems to be about, but audiences might well identify with the psychiatrist’s wife when she says to him: “You must be holding something back. Or else I’m stupid.”

…Mamet takes on big questions, probing the obligations, contradictions and distinctions between moral, religious and professional codes of conduct…. At the same time, Mamet has structured The Penitent so that information is parceled out in stingy pieces [which] winds up undercutting his thematic explorations.


Full review on DC Theatre Scene


Click on any photograph by Doug Hamilton to see it enlarged






February 2017 NY Theater Openings

Broadway this month will see the opening of two starry musical  revivals by two of the reigning composers of musical theater — Stephen Sondheim (86) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (68) — while Off-Broadway pays tribute to Jerry Herman (85) and Kurt Weill (1900-1950), and presents a new musical by John Kander (89.)

Meanwhile, Off-Off Broadway is showcasing the work of one of New York’s hottest musical composers, Dave Malloy (41), best-known for the hit Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812., which also started Off-Off-Broadway.

The month will also see the opening of new plays by (among others) Brandon Jacob-Jenkins, David Mamet,  Tanya Saracho,and  Will Eno, and new productions of plays by Tracy Letts and Wallace Shawn.

Below is a list, organized chronologically by opening date, with descriptions. Each title is linked to a relevant website.

Color key: Broadway: Red. Off Broadway: Purple or Blue. Off Off Broadway: Green.
To look at the Spring season as a whole, check out my Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide and my Off Broadway Spring 2017 Preview Guide

February 1


Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose (Davenport)

Ed Dixon recounts how he came to know and admire character actor George Rose, who acted with such luminaries as Katherine Hepburn and Noel Coward.

February 8


Jonah and Otto (Lost Tribe at Theater Row)

Over the course of a single day, two men  – one 26, the other 62; different in every way – share their solitude and unfold their secrets.


Fade (Primary Stages at Cherry Lane)

A comedy by Tanya Saracho about the burgeoning friendship between Lucia and Abel, two Latinos of Mexican descent working at a ruthless Hollywood studio


Big River (Encores at City Center)

The Encores concert version of the Tony-winning musical based on Mark Twain’s novel “Huck Finn.”

February 9

The Mother of Invention (Abingdon at June Havoc)

James Lecesne’s unflinching and comedic look at how one family deals with the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Sunset Boulevard (Palace Theatre)

Glenn Close stars in a revival of the 1994 musical based on the 1950 Billy Wilder movie about a faded Hollywood silent film goddess who tries to make one last comeback. This production was seen in a spring 2016 revival in London.


The Object Lesson (New York Theatre Workshop)

In what’s becoming its signature activity, NYTW has physically transformed their theater once again, this time turning it into a giant storage facility.  allowing audiences to roam and poke through the clutter.

February 10


Crackskull Row ( Irish Rep)

Rasher Moorigan has a secret that only his mother knows. Tonight  – for the first time in over thirty years – mother and son spend May Eve together in a wreck of a house down the backlanes of Dublin

February 12


Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: (York)

Kurt Weill’s theater songs are presented in the York’s “Musical in Muftis” series (a short run), in a blend of music and story, spanning twenty years, from Von Hindenburg and Hitler in Germany to Roosevelt and Truman in the U.S.


Beardo (Pipeline)

Beardo, which takes place in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Greenpoint,  is a “Russian indie rock musical” with music by Dave Malloy ( Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.) “This New York premiere explodes the mad inner workings of Rasputin, the infamous mystic who sexed his way to the fall of the Russian monarchy.”

Ring Twice For Miranda (NY City Center Stage II)

A man known only as Sir rules with a vengeance, but it’s Miranda, a chambermaid, who adds intrigue to his life. When Elliot, the butler, is fired, she flees with him in defiance onto the frightening streets. All must soon make critical decisions with imperfect facts to guide them, since little in their world is as it appears.

February 15


Man From Nebraska (Second Stage)

A revival of the play by Tracey Letts, directed by David Cromer, starring Reed Birney (The Humans) as Ken, a middle aged man from Nebraska, who suddenly finds he’s lost his faith, along with his sense of purpose. He goes on a wild adventure to find it. Along the way he encounters a world vastly different from his own, filled with chance meetings and romantic encounters that shake him to the core.

February 16

Wallace Shawn, from the National Theater production.

Wallace Shawn, from the National Theater production.

Evening at the Talk House (New Group at  Signature)

The New Group at Signature) by Wallace Shawn with Matthew Broderick, Jill Eikenberry, John Epperson, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, Claudia Shear, Annapurna Sriram, Michael Tucker.  Shawn takes on theater itself with this acerbic and stealth political comedy about theater artists who  have a reunion at their old hangout, the Talk House, to reminisce about the show they made a decade ago — except most are no longer theater artists. There’s been “a decline in the theatergoing impulse.”

February 19

On The Exhale (Roundabout)

A play by Martin Zimmerman (Netflix’s Narcos) starring Marin Ireland as a liberal college professor inexplicably drawn to a weapon used in a senseless act of violence.

February 21


Everybody (Signature)

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s new play is a modern version of Everyman, a famous morality play about Christian salvation from the 15th century. I have no idea what he’s doing with it, but he was very clever in a play called Octoroon, which was his take on an 19th century melodrama, and both provocative and thoughtful in his play Gloria

February 22

If I Forget (Roundabout)

A new play by Steven Levenson (“The Language of Trees,” “The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin”) that tells the story of the bickering reunion of liberal Jewish studies professor Michael Fischer with his two sisters to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday shortly before 9/11.

DC production of Kid Victory

DC production of Kid Victory

Kid Victory (Vineyard)

The latest collaboration between John Kander and Greg Pierce. “Seventeen-year-old Luke returns to his small Kansas town after a wrenching one-year absence. As his friendship grows with the town misfit, Emily, his parents realize that in order to truly find their son, they must confront some unnerving truths about his disappearance.”

February 23

City Center

Sunday in the Park with George (Hudson Theater)

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford star in this
transfer of the New York City Center‘s fall 2016 concert version of the Pulitzer-winning Sondheim and Lapine 1984 musical about pointillist painter George Seurat. It marks the re-launching of the Hudson Theater (built in 1903) as the 41st Broadway house.

Linda (MTC at City Center)

Penelope Skinner’s play is about a successful woman whose pitch to change the way the world looks at women of a certain age winds up making her fight for her own relevance.

February 24


The View UpStairs (Lynn Redgrave Theater)

A young fashion designer from 2017 buys the abandoned space that was the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant ’70s gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

February 26

Dear World (York)

Tyne Daly stars in the York’s “Musical in Mufti” (short run) of Jerry Herman’s musical based on the Madwoman of Chaillot.

February 27

Wakey, Wakey (Signature)

Will Eno’s play “challenges the notion of what really matters and recognizes the importance of life’s simple pleasures.” The downtown playwright  who made his Broadway debut recently with the abstruse The Realistic Joneses has his admirers; I’m not yet one of them.

The Penitent (Atlantic)

A new play by David Mamet. “A renowned psychiatrist is asked to testify on behalf of a young patient. When he refuses, his career, ethics and faith are thrown into question.”

Nibbler (The Amoralists at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre)

A play by Ken Urban that takes place in the summer of 1992 in Medford, New Jersey, when Adam and his gang of friends face life after high school.  But then the fivesome encounter a mysterious visitor from another world, and their lives are forever changed


Bull In A China Shop (LCT)

A comedy by Bryna Turner that follows Mary Woolley and her partner Jeannette Marks through 40 years in a New England seminary as they reform and revolutionize women’s education at the height of the suffrage movement.

February 28

A Gravediggger’s Lullaby (TACT at Theatre Row)

A new play by Jeff Talbott about the life of Baylen, an honest, hard-working gravedigger who sweats and bleeds to support his small family

Pacino in Mamet’s China Doll: Review, Pics


David Mamet’s China Doll involves two dramas. There’s the one on stage starring Al Pacino as an old billionaire in something of a cynical primer on wealth and political ambition. Then there’s the pile-on against the show: The reviews have been the worst anything on Broadway has gotten this whole year. That includes Misery and It Shoulda Been You. With only a few exceptions, the reviewers have sounded hostile, one calling the play “garbage.”….I am more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and not completely trash China Doll because it’s difficult to decipher. And Mamet’s new play does make Broadway theatergoers work harder than they are accustomed to doing.

Full review at DC Theatre Scene

Click on any photograph by Jeremy Daniel to see it enlarged.



Al Pacino As Phil Spector — Count The Wigs

Al Pacino as Phil Spector

Al Pacino stars with Helen Mirren in HBO film “Phil Spector,” written and directed by David Mamet, about the legendary music producer (Wall of Sound, the Beatles, Ike and Tina Turner, the Ramones) now serving 19 years to life for second degree murder. Count the number of wigs Pacino is wearing in this trailer for the film.

Love Lessons From The Stage

Looking for love on all the wrong stages? Theatergoers have found useful lessons about love from Death of A Salesman, Les Miserables, Follies, Ragtime, Mame, and one of three newly opened shows, "Hearts Like Fists"

Looking for love on all the wrong stages? Theatergoers have found useful lessons about love from Death of A Salesman, Les Miserables, Follies, Ragtime, Mame, and one of three newly opened shows, “Hearts Like Fists”

Can theater teach us anything about love?

Three very different shows I reviewed this week all believe so – the Flux Theatre Ensemble’s production of “Hearts Like Fist,” “The Drunken City” at the WorkShop Theater, and, most oddly, David Mamet’s “The Anarchist”

They are certainly not alone in this faith — although, to paraphrase the Waylon Jennings song, one has to wonder whether we’ve been looking for love on all the wrong stages:

Monica Bauer says she learned about love from “Death of A Salesman,” which “taught me that love survives even after respect is gone: Biff will always love Willy, as Willy loved Biff.”

Rebecca McNew says that both “Les Misérables” and “Phantom of the Opera”  taught her about “love that forgives regardless of wrongs.”

Wall Street Journal drama critic Terry Teachout says he learned about love from “‘Follies,’ God help me–but I prefer not to say what.”

Debra Winger to Patti LuPone in The Anarchist :Do I lack love?

Debra Winger to Patti LuPone in The Anarchist: “Do I lack love?”/ “Of course you do.”

The strangest of the newly staged love lessons is from  David Mamet’s “The Anarchist” at the John Golden Theater on Broadway, which stars Patti LuPone as Cathy, a radical activist in prison for murder for 35 years, seeking to be released on parole by Ann, an unspecified official about to retire, played by Debra Winger.  Although Ann primarily interrogates and Cathy mostly justifies,  the conversation is in no way all in one direction.

Cathy, a Jew who has found Jesus in prison, says she wants to save Ann.  Ann, like Cathy, is attracted to other women – so Cathy (and the playwright) imply – and has been repressing this love. One of the less abstruse exchanges:

Cathy: Would you like me to set you free?

Ann: How would you set me free?….How am I bound?

Cathy: Will you answer me?

Ann: You wrote “The troubled cannot be freed by psychiatry.” That they do not lack psychiatry.

Cathy: That’s right

Ann: “…they lack love.” Do I lack love?

Cathy: Of course you do.

Ann: I lack love…

Cathy: That’s why you’re frightened.

Ann: I’m frightened. Why?

Cathy: Because you’re leaving.

Ann: Has my work here given me love?

Cathy: It’s given you structure. Which is to say, repression

Ann: Sexual repression?

Cathy: Of the need for love

"Hearts Like Fists" by Adam  Szymkowicz is a “superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love.”

“Hearts Like Fists” by Adam Szymkowicz is a “superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love.”


Playwright Adam Szymkowicz makes his points about love and repression far more playfully in  “Hearts Like Fists” at the Secret Theater, which the Flux Ensemble describes as a “superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love.” Masked female CrimeFighers are trying to stop the demented Doctor X from terrorizing the city, injecting poison into happily sleeping couples. It turns out that Doctor X is jealous, having been thwarted in his pursuit of love. Each of the characters in this theatrical version of a graphic novel has their own battle with their attractions. As Flux artistic director August Schulenburg points out, the difficulty of love pushes people to “settle” for having a purpose in life, and the characters in “Hearts Like Fists” are “each trying to keep their balance between the pulls of purpose and passion.” If there is an overarching lesson, it is that you shouldn’t let past heartbreaks smack you down for good.

Adam Bock's "The Drunken City" -- friendship and liquor aren't always the best recipe for love.

Adam Bock’s “The Drunken City” — friendship and liquor aren’t always the best recipe for love.

In the revival of Adam Bock’s The Drunken City, three young women from a suburban town go bar-hopping in the big city as a bachelorette party. The one getting married stumbles upon a bank clerk from their town, who is still recovering from getting dumped a year earlier. Suddenly the two are locking lips, much to the shock of their friends, who call for reinforcements.  The bride-to-be starts to question her impending nuptials, angering her friends. In his sweet, comic way, Bock is making a point about how friends often enforce and impose their notions of love.

Other lessons of love from the stage, solicited via Twitter: What show, what lesson?

‪@DrHornetBupp Ragtime taught me love knows no religions, hatred or barriers.

V in V ‏‪@VictoriaInVerse “Next Fall,” by Geoffrey Nauffts says tons aboutt love – ie., learning to love others w/o bias or condition.

Mike Floyd @ObsrvatnlstNYC Company: We’re all experiencing the same shit.

Ellen Hassett Cahill‪ @eggsquared: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot: Forgiveness

Lisa Amand‏‪@Imnofoodie Chaplin: Childhood heartbreak is forever sad yet can fuel great art.

Lisa Waldrop ‏‪@lisawaldrop Mame, oddly enough…unlikely family alliances!

‪@barbiebackstage  Les Miserables: “To love another person is to see the face of God”

The Anarchist Review: Real-Life Riveting Story Turned Into Mamet Mush

TheAnarchistLuPoneWingerWhen I first heard about “The Anarchist,” David Mamet’s play pitting Patti LuPone as an incarcerated violent radical against Debra Winger as her jailer, I immediately pictured the townhouse that blew up when I was a child. I remember walking by the demolished building and spotting a bookcase still full of books stuck on the outer wall of the adjoining building, two or three stories up. This was the family home of one of the bomb-makers of the Weather Underground; they had blown it up by accident, killing three of them. Two more, after being treated for their injuries,  disappeared, becoming fugitives.

A decade later, one of those two women, Kathy Boudin, the daughter of a prominent attorney, participated in the robbery of a Brink’s armored car in Westchester in which two law enforcement officers were killed. She was arrested, pled guilty, and received a prison sentence of 20 years to life.

While she was in prison, her son was adopted by former Weatherman leader Bill Ayers, who became a professor of education in Chicago and figured prominently in an attack on candidate Barack Obama in 2008 presidential campaign.

It was this intriguing story that I assumed had inspired Mamet to write and direct “The Anarchist,” which imagines a meeting in which Cathy (LuPone), an inmate for 35 years for murdering two law enforcement officers during a robbery, is requesting from Ann (Winger), an unspecified official (Warden? Prosecutor?) that she finally be released on parole, in order to visit her dying father. Cathy has found Jesus, she says, and tries to bring Ann to the light. Ann wants Cathy to tell her the location of Althea, her long-ago accomplice, still fugitive and lover.

The hour-long play that Mamet has produced manages to disappoint on nearly every level.  The actors do what they can, especially LuPone, who gives a master lesson in making something out of nothing. But Mamet gives them little but vagueness as a writer and as a director enforces a weird stylized stiltedness that we have seen from him before in movies such as “The Spanish Prisoner,” and plays like “Race,” which was on Broadway a few seasons back. (“Race” seemed thin at the time, but in light of “The Anarchist,” now comes off like “Around The World in 80 Days.”) The absence of any real drama is exceeded only by the pat ending, which would be rejected by the better TV police procedural shows as too stacked and gimmicky. But there is little satisfaction even in taking “The Anarchist” as an exercise in political philosophy. Putting aside how utterly unlikely the conversation between the two antagonists, it is a pompous affair with only intermittent insights, primarily marked by name-dropping and a lack of clarity.

The worst of “The Anarchist,” however is in imagining what the younger David Mamet would have made of such a complex, riveting real-life story.

The show has already announced it will close on December 16, two months earlier than its scheduled limited run.

The Anarchist

At the John Golden Theater, 252 West 45th Street

Written and directed by David Mamet; sets and costumes by Patrizia von Brandenstein

.Cast: Patti LuPone (Cathy) and Debra Winger (Ann).

Running time: an hour with no intermission.

“The Anarchist” is now scheduled to end on December 16 (14 days after opening)

Chaplin Silenced, Anarchist Scolded, Dead Accounts Dead on Arrival

Katie Holmes, Ricky Martin, Chaplin, Patti LuPone, Debra Winger, Cicely Tyson all figure in this week in New York theater

Katie Holmes, Ricky Martin, Chaplin, Patti LuPone, Debra Winger, Cicely Tyson all figure in this week in New York theater

T’was not a great week to be jolly for many in New York theater, with stars leaving shows, closing announcements, and Broadway openings marred by pans.

On the other hand, there was some good news involving Cicely Tyson, Nathan Lane, playwright Amy Herzog and fans of The Lion King. Also below: a chance to weigh in on the worst Broadway show of 2012, and to test how well you were paying attention to theater news in November.

November 26, 2012

Holland Taylor as Ann Richards in "Ann"

Holland Taylor as Ann Richards in “Ann”

Holland Taylor will be starring on Broadway in the Lincoln Center Theater production of “Ann,”  about late Texas Gov Ann Richards, opening March 7

Quiz: What recent NYC show also featured Ann Richards?

Karen Wilson ‏(@akakarenwilson)” Pre-show speech at Urban Cowboy

Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater): Not what I was thinking, no

Patricia Milton ‏(@PatriciaMilton): Anna Deavere Smith played Ann Richards in “Let Me Down Easy” Off-B’way in 2009.

Scottish play, rainbow casting, ghost light. Know these theater terms? If not,check out TDF’s theater dictionary 

Tina Packer’s marathon “Women of Will” (about Shakespeare’s female characters) Jan-June 2013 at Gym at Judson 

Actor just starting out cast in what he discovers is incompetent unprofessional production asks: Should I quit? 

Daniel Bourque ‏@Danfrmbourque: Tough one early in career, especially for an actor. I’d say stick it out and then not go near company again.


Stephen Sondheim and Nathan Lane

Stephen Sondheim and Nathan Lane

Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris will all leave Evita after Jan 26. Show continues with unannounced new cast. Who will they have to get to keep Evita going after its stars leave in January?

Lights will dim on Broadway tonight for producer Marty Richards (Sweeney Todd, etc),  co-founder of Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS, who died yesterday at age 80

After 18 months, the unexpected hit Silence: The Musical, a spoof of the movie “Silence of the Lambs,” will close December 30th at the Elektra Theater in Times Square.

Nathan Lane will be host of the Symphonic Sondheim at the New York Philharmonic January 29

Audra McDonald to be new host of “Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS

Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, by Kathie Lee Gifford

Parishioner at Aimee Semple McPherson’s church who met Kathie Lee leaves comment on my review of Scandalous: Kathie Lee Gifford “said she felt the show needed to be done and that God would use it.”

Worst-performing show on Broadway last week, by most measures (e.g. attendance down more than 40%!) was Scandalous

BackStageBarbie ‏@barbiebackstage oh geez. I have comps to use for that show. Sounds like I better get on before it closes.

Why is Scandalous still playing when theater is 2/3rds empty? Amway millionaires Dick and Betsy DeVos covering losses in hopes of a miracle turnaround in audience attendance.

William Akers ‏@ouijum I should send them one of my scripts. Gotta love producers with blind faith and deep pockets.


Do labels for artists “young” and “emerging” discriminate on basis of age and insult based on experience?

Kicked off Smash in March, Theresa Rebeck has a new play Dead Accounts opening Thursday. She talks about both Rebeck saw herself as the architect of Smash, she says; NBC saw her as the general contractor. “…you don’t fuck with the muse.

Government “invests” in manufacturing, says UK arts writer Louise Jury, but “subsidizes” the arts. “But both make things.”

TLK_988x238_102612Free Lion King exhibition this Saturday through Dec. 16. Mask-making etc


My Name Is Asher Lev: "You have a responsibility. Do you know what that responsibility is?" the art teacher (Mark Nelson) asks his student, an art prodigy who is also an Orthodox Jew (Ari Brand)

The arts teach kids creativity, confidence, problem-solving,perseverance, focus, collaboration, dedication

“To make theater, one must live in a state of crisis,” writes playwright & actor Michael Yichao  True?

My Name Is Asher Lev: What does it take to be an artist? What is the artist’s responsbility?

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark began performances for the paying public two years ago today. (It opened 6 1/2 months later.)


August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson at Signature Theater is extending 3 weeks through January 13.

Crystal T. Johnson ‏@ArtsGift2Crys Yessss! I need tickets

DRG Records making cast recording of Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In studio: Dec 10. Available: Jan 29

In 8 videos on Sony Masterworks “Legends of Broadway,” Sondheim discusses Gypsy, Follies,Into the Woods

Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Holmes in Dead Accounts on Broadway

Norbert Leo Butz and Katie Holmes in Dead Accounts on Broadway

My review of Dead Accounts

After departing “Smash,” the television series she created that looks with fluttering heart at the making of a Broadway musical, Theresa Rebeck apparently has changed her mind about New York City, judging from her inconsequential and oddly hostile new comedy, “Dead Accounts.”

….What was most entertaining for me about “Dead Accounts” was the mystery behind Norbert Leo Butz’s character – and the teasing, intriguing clues Rebeck sprinkles in the first act, with little surprises leading up to the biggest surprise.

And then the big surprise turns out to be a dud.

Full review of Dead Accounts


Neil LaBute is following up his Reasons to be Pretty with new play Reasons to Be Happy, which he will

ReasonstoBePretty direct for MCC Theater in 2013

Wendy Rosenfield ‏@WendyRosenfield Reason to be annoyed

David Robson ‏@davidrobsonplay Come on, you know you love him.


November 2012 New York Theater Quiz

Sample Q: In a review of what work did Isherwood use the word “Weltanschauung”? http://

December 1

The Worst Broadway Show of 2012? Vote in the poll:

Stage Acting Tips: e.g. keep a notebook, read the play out loud at least 3 times, don’t drink cold water 

Glenda Jackson: Acting is not about dressing up. Acting is about stripping bare


Happy 87th birthday,Julie Harris,winner of 6 Tonys,veteran of 33 Broadway shows, co-star w/James Dean, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando

“Degrassi: The Next Generation” star Epstein to play Peter Parker/Spider-man in “Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark” Saturday and Sunday matinee performances beginning Dec. 8


Patti LuPone and Debra Winger in David Mamet's "The Anarchist" on Broadway got reviews that will be difficult for the production to quote.

David Mamet will not be quoting reviews of The Anarchist in ads

“a wearying lecture”…”strangely gassy”…”restrained to the point of somnambulance”…”drone on and on”

CicelyTysoninTheCornIsGreenCicely Tyson returns to Broadway after 30 years in revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, opening April, 2013 Sondheim Theater. The last time she was on Broadway was in “The Corn Is Green” in 1983.

Amy Herzog has won fourth annual NY Times Outstanding Playwright Award for After the Revolution, about radical family,

Chaplin, starring Rob McClure, is closing

Chaplin, starring Rob McClure, is closing

Chaplin will close after 24 previews and 136 regular performances.

@ChaplinBway With heavy hearts, we announce our final perf, Jan 6.

The announcement that Chaplin is closing comes a day before its cast recording becomes downloadable, 5 days before CD available

Broadway audiences: 2/3rds female, almost 2/3rds tourists. Almost half buy tickets online., according to a new report from The Broadway League.

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean sings Who Am I in Les Miserables Movie 

David Mamet Will Not Be Quoting The Anarchist Reviews In Ads

Patti LuPone and Debra Winger in David Mamet's "The Anarchist" on Broadway got reviews that will be difficult for the production to quote.

Patti LuPone plays a 60’s violent activist imprisoned for 35 years requesting parole from Debra Winger in David Mamet’s “The Anarchist” on Broadway, which got many reviews that will be difficult for the production to quote.

just a wearying lecture~The Hollywood Reporter

strangely gassy~New York Magazine

feels as sterile and lifeless as an interrogation, which it basically is~Associated Press

short, dense and dry drama at the Golden Theatre is often a head-scratcher-Daily News

heavily embroidered slip of a play….where ideas on eschatology, etymology, phenomenology and, yes, criminology are exchanged by intellectual (if not moral) equals~New York Times

LuPone and Winger are restrained to the point of somnambulance-Bloomberg News

a bewildering exercise in audience

…the characters have no credible stage life; they exist only as puppets for Mamet’s ideas~The New Yorker

He does no favors for the thesps in this two-hander by enabling Debra Winger to drone on and on and Patti LuPone to swallow half her lines~Variety

More needlessly opaque debate than drama~Newsday

the writing, repetitive and blunt, falls short of the lofty aspirations~New York Post

sluggish and inert~Boston Globe

Meandering and academic debate that’s hard to follow~AM-NY

brusque badinage between opaque symbols~Entertainment Weekly

a droning, pompous essay brought to unnatural life~Backstage

Note: There were some mixed to positive reviews, most notably USA Today, and I have no opinion until I see it later this week.