Race – Theater Review
Mamet explains the plot, which has been kept secret until now, this way: “In my play a firm made up of three lawyers, two black and one white, is offered the chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black young woman. It is a play about lies.” He adds: “All drama is about lies. When the lie is exposed, the play is over.”
Race is David Mamet’s latest Broadway production. It stars James Spader as a lawyer who has a black partner, David Alan Grier, who we’re used to seeing as a comedian who plays it straight. Kerry Washington who is his black associate, Richard Thomas as a rich white millionaire who is accused of rape. The idea is that race is an important issue in the United States right now but also on Broadway and that there are bunch of plays including Superior Donuts and they didn’t count Fela which maybe they should have as a racially motivated play. There is also Finnegan’s Rainbow has to do with race, A Steady Rain has to do with race, Memphis, Ragtime. So we’re talking about a huge amount of Broadway that specifically has to do with the issue of race and I suppose if you counted Wicked as somebody being green it gets a larger and larger list. The point being is that it is a very important topic but this is not a very important play. I don’t know what was wrong with it, I like David Mamet. Although he had some noticeable problems this year with some of his stuff. This one, part of the problem is that the person you’re supposed to care the most about you care the least about, which is Kerry Washington. She is very pretty and I have enjoyed her on film, but here she just doesn’t — I don’t know what she is playing. Maybe she is trying to make herself very business like or something but it comes off as very wooden and the whole things falls very flat. There are some important issues to talk about which is in anybody not bigoted about somebody who looks different than they are but they play didn’t work at all. One star.