Race BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • race
  • NY TIMES

  • AP

  • VARIETY

  • USA TODAY

  • EW

Opening Night:
December 6, 2009
Closing:
August 23, 2010

Theater: Ethel Barrymore Theater / 243 West 47th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

David Mamet directs the world premiere of his new Broadway play, Race. The show will star James Spader, Richard Thomas, David Alan Grier, and Kerry Washington. Race is the riveting new play in which three attorneys, two black and one white, are offered a chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black woman.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Race

    A New Team Tackles Mamet’s Moral Fable of Pride, Prejudice and Susceptibility

    Ben Brantley

    July 1, 2010: Eddie Izzard has the face of a fallen angel, of a rumpled cherub who grew up way too fast once he landed in hell. That face alone makes this British actor and comic a solid choice for the role of Jack Lawson, the Mephistophelean lawyer in “Race,” David Mamet’s terse moral fable of pride and prejudices at the Ethel Barrymore Theater. True, James Spader had played the part to near perfection when the show opened in December. But I had hopes that Mr. Izzard, a brilliant stand-up portraitist of human perversity, might give a jolt of shock therapy to an often glib and mechanical play.

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  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Race

    The title is stark in its simplicity but "Race," David Mamet's provocative, hot-topic new play, is anything but simple.The questions "Race" poses and the answers its characters supply add up to an intriguing study of perception — from both black and white viewpoints. Which means there are no neat, easy conclusions to be drawn even though Mamet throws out some fascinating, dramatically charged opinions, not only on race but on the divide between men and women as well.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Race

    As one of the characters in David Mamet's teasing faux-polemic on the subject says, "Race is the most incendiary topic in our history." The slender play that takes its terse title from that declaration seems hatched more out of an urge to inflame arguments easily triggered in the age of Obama than out of the need to tell this particular story or even to explore the issue with any real conclusiveness. This being Mamet, however, the dialogue is tasty, the confrontations spiky and the observations more than occasionally biting. Slick but hollow, "Race" entertains as it unfolds, but grows increasingly wobbly as it twists its way to an unsatisfying wrap-up.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • USA TODAY REVIEW OF Race

    The Playbill for David Mamet's Race features a photo of a woman's body clad in a tight minidress. The monochrome shot makes it hard to determine her skin color, but she's obviously young and very fit.

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Race

    Playwright David Mamet works all his familiar stuff trying to get a rise out of his audience in Race, a four-person dramatic tap dance about the lies blacks and whites tell each other about each other — a Broadway production populated, to a liar, with actors primarily known for their movie and TV stardom. Richard Thomas plays a rich, white man who seeks legal representation after being charged with raping a young black woman.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF Race

    While not as explosive or profane as some of his previous works, David Mamet's "Race" skillfully examines a controversial topic and is sure to set off many a post-theatre discussion. But it's definitely a mixed bag: At times the dialogue feels like a debate between stick figures representing opposing points of view rather than real people in a situation reflective of our conflicted society. In addition, the setup is somewhat similar to earlier Mamet plays: As in "Oleanna" a revival of which just prematurely closed, a he said-she said dispute leads to a dangerous confrontation, and much like the plot of "Speed-the-Plow" young female office worker who may or may not be more calculating than she appears comes between longtime business partners.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Race

    Bottom Line: Mamet's provocative and entertaining legal drama doesn't quite deliver on its promise.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Race

    December 6, 2009: No sooner had the curtain fallen on David Mamet’s “Race” the other night than the predominantly white audience rose, smiling, to its feet. Standing ovations on Broadway have become a conditioned reflex, but this one seemed a shade more self-conscious and self-congratulatory than usual. You could argue this was the perfect coda to a play that examines the self-consciousness that descends on American white people when they talk about, or to, black people.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF Race

    January 27, 2010: The title is stark in its simplicity but "Race," David Mamet's provocative, hot-topic new play, is anything but simple.The questions "Race" poses and the answers its characters supply add up to an intriguing study of perception — from both black and white viewpoints. Which means there are no neat, easy conclusions to be drawn even though Mamet throws out some fascinating, dramatically charged opinions, not only on race but on the divide between men and women as well.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • VARIETY REVIEW OF Race

    December 6, 2009: As one of the characters in David Mamet's teasing faux-polemic on the subject says, "Race is the most incendiary topic in our history." The slender play that takes its terse title from that declaration seems hatched more out of an urge to inflame arguments easily triggered in the age of Obama than out of the need to tell this particular story or even to explore the issue with any real conclusiveness. This being Mamet, however, the dialogue is tasty, the confrontations spiky and the observations more than occasionally biting. Slick but hollow, "Race" entertains as it unfolds, but grows increasingly wobbly as it twists its way to an unsatisfying wrap-up.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • USA TODAY REVIEW OF Race

    December 6, 2009: The Playbill for David Mamet's Race features a photo of a woman's body clad in a tight minidress. The monochrome shot makes it hard to determine her skin color, but she's obviously young and very fit.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Race

    December 6, 2009: Playwright David Mamet works all his familiar stuff trying to get a rise out of his audience in Race, a four-person dramatic tap dance about the lies blacks and whites tell each other about each other — a Broadway production populated, to a liar, with actors primarily known for their movie and TV stardom. Richard Thomas plays a rich, white man who seeks legal representation after being charged with raping a young black woman.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Race

    No sooner had the curtain fallen on David Mamet’s “Race” the other night than the predominantly white audience rose, smiling, to its feet. Standing ovations on Broadway have become a conditioned reflex, but this one seemed a shade more self-conscious and self-congratulatory than usual. You could argue this was the perfect coda to a play that examines the self-consciousness that descends on American white people when they talk about, or to, black people.

    READ THE REVIEW

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