Massachusetts' American Repertory Theatre scores a coup when it presents the world premiere of David Mamet's latest, Boston Marriage. That production, which began previews June 4, and opened June 9, ends on June 27.
At press time, there was no word as to whether the play would make the journey to New York. One thing is for certain, however -- the drama will not be seen at the Atlantic Theatre, the New York company Mamet helped found. Yes, the Atlantic is devoting the 1999-2000 season to the playwright, but, said artistic director Neil Pepe, the entire roster will be made up of revivals of old Mamet works. Already on the agenda are The Water Engine and American Buffalo.
Mamet himself directs the ACT production of Marriage, which is set at the turn of the century and features two women slowly revealing the secrets of their relationship. Marriage is a marked change from the playwright, whose early reputation was based on gritty plays depicting urbanites struggling against temptations in their everyday lives, but whose most recent works -- like The Cryptogram and The Old Neighborhood -- are more nostalgic, with Mamet finding artistic solace in re-visiting his youth and the events that shaped him.
The cast includes Mamet regulars: Rebecca Pidgeon (who's also Mamet's spouse), Felicity Huffman (The Cryptogram, Dangerous Corner, Boy's Life) and Mary McCann (The Old Neighborhood, Edmond, Dangerous Corner).
A.R.T. has become a home away from home for the playwright who has premiered two other shows at the MA Theatre, The Old Neighborhood and The Cryptogram. Other plays include his Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow The Water Engine, The Woods and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Mamet's latest film "The Winslow Boy" recently opened to strong reviews. Tickets for Boston Marriage run $30-$40, call (617) 547-8300.
-- By Sean McGrath