The Atlantic Theatre Company, which has dedicated 1999-2000 to the work of Mamet, will bring Sexual Perversity in Chicago to New York on Dec. 16, when previews for a new production of that Mamet play begin. The Atlantic is in the middle of its year-long homage to its founding father, Mamet. The season officially got underway Oct. 20 with the opening of the double bill of The Water Engine and Mr. Happiness, in previews since Sept. 29.
Sexual Perversity in Chicago, an early success for Mamet, is about the rules of attraction, circa mid-'70s. It is paired with The Duck Variations, a one-act about the observations of two old men sitting on a park bench.
Josh Hamilton lead the cast of Chicago. Hamilton recently appeared on the Atlantic stage in The Cider House Rules, the sprawling adaptation of the John Irving novel. Other credits include the original casts of As Bees in Honey Drown and This Is Our Youth. Also starring are Kater Blumberg, Clark Gregg and Kristin Reddick.
The cast of Duck Variations features Peter Maloney and John Tormey. Hilary Hinckle will direct the evening, which opens Jan. 13, 2000.
The Mamet season will continue with a revival of what is, perhaps, the playwright's greatest work, American Buffalo, staged by Neil Pepe. The production will begin performances March 3, 2000, and open March 16. William H. Macy, Atlantic's co-founder, will star. Lately, Macy has made a big name for himself in such films as "Fargo" and "Mystery Men." He last appeared on the New York stage in Mamet's Oleanna. Buffalo will first visit London's Donmar Warehouse before coming to the Atlantic.
The last offering of the season will be Ghost Stories, a double bill made up of The Shawl and No One Will Be Immune. Performances will being May 16, 2000, for a June 1 opening. The Shawl was first performed at the Goodman Theater in 1985, and tells of a woman who turns into a psychic after her mother dies. No One is about a man's disturbing tale of why he forced a plane to return to its gate.
The Atlantic also plans to present something improbably called "Mamet for Kids," a series of children's plays by the usually very-adult playwright. Also of offer will be a spring festival of Mamet sketches, performed by Atlantic's acting students as a late-night cabaret.
Mamet co-founded the Atlantic Theatre Company with actor and director Macy. In the past, the troupe has staged several Mamet works, but lately it has concentrated on British plays such as The Beauty Queen on Leenane and Mojo, as well as new American dramas like The Cider House Rules and Minutes from the Blue Route.
Other Mamet plays include The Old Neighborhood, The Cryptogram, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow and The Woods. Mamet's latest film "The Winslow Boy" recently opened to strong reviews.
-- By Robert Simonson