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OLEANNA BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: December 31, 1969
Synopsis: Starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles and directed by Tony Award winner Doug Hughes, Oleanna is a gripping account of a power struggle between a male university professor and one of his female students. This is a provocative drama by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet in its first-ever Broadway production.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Here’s a little physics puzzle for John, the university professor from David Mamet’s “Oleanna” and a man who practically breaks his neck by bending it to consider questions from different angles: How is it possible that two productions of the same play — occupying roughly the same amount of stage time and using almost exactly the same words — can move at such vastly different speeds?"
"Get ready to be infuriated again. Or, at the very least, intrigued. The linguistic pyrotechnics of playwright David Mamet are on full display in the bruising Broadway revival of "Oleanna," which opened Sunday at the Golden Theatre. It's Mamet's incendiary take on the consequences of political correctness — specifically involving sexual harassment — and how language helps to facilitate the battle."
"When David Mamet's Oleanna premiered in 1992, it was widely perceived as a response to the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in which Thomas was accused of sexual harassment by former assistant Anita Hill."
"There are key phrases in David Mamet's "Oleanna" that in their banal simplicity reveal as much about the two adversarial characters and their corrosive dilemma as all their heated verbiage combined. For frustrated student Carol, it's "I don't understand." For her heedless professor John, it's "I can't talk right now." And both of them favor multiple variations on "Do you see?" Miscommunication more than gender politics is the central issue in this incendiary 1992 two-hander, and that gulf is exposed with bristling conviction by Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles. But Doug Hughes' meticulously calibrated production can't correct the imbalance of a manipulative play that only feigns impartiality."
"When David Mamet's "Oleanna," in which a female student wrongly accuses a professor of sexual harassment, opened Off-Broadway in 1992, it was shocking and incendiary but pretty much a one-sided battle."
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