Tony Award-nominated and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow) also directs the 90-minute play that takes its inspiration from figures from the American political scene of the 1960s. It officially opens Dec. 2. The production is scheduled for a 14-week run through Feb. 17, 2013.
According to producers, "LuPone plays the title character and Winger plays a prison official. These actresses will make theatrical fireworks as one character, put away for life, wants out while the other wants to make sure she stays inside. This explosive new work by Mamet is about passion, redemption, deception, and revolution."
LuPone told Playbill in a recent interview, "This is truly truly among the most challenging things I've ever done. It was one of the hardest things to memorize. It's really ideas David is presenting as two sides of an argument. It's a prisoner who has served a life-term; she's been in prison 35 years and she's had an exemplary record in the prison system. She's meeting with a fictional character, someone who doesn't really exist in the penal system, but is somebody who will judge me and determine whether I am fit to go in front of the parole board."
Winger added, "Where else do we have left for polemics in the world? We don't. The news is all canned. There's no real information being discussed. I would say David Mamet is almost polemic in that way. He will bring both sides of an argument so that we can all reach the bigger question. And that's what I'm looking to do — to balance Patti's argument, so that everyone can walk out of the theatre, not with an opinion, but with a bigger question."
LuPone, a Tony Award winner for Evita and Gypsy, has a long history with Mamet. The two first worked together on his drama The Woods in 1977. LuPone's Mamet appearances also include The Water Engine, Edmond, The Old Neighborhood and the film "State and Main." (LuPone will also be part of Playbill's third Broadway on the High Seas cruise, which sets sail Aug. 4, 2013, from Stockholm, Sweden.) The Anarchist marks Winger's Broadway debut. She is a three-time Academy Award nominee for "Terms of Endearment," "Shadowlands" and "An Officer and a Gentleman." Her stage appearances include The Exonerated, How I Learned to Drive and Ivanov.
The Anarchist has scenic and costume design by Academy Award winner Patrizia Von Brandenstein and lighting by Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter. The premiere is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Howard and Janet Kagan.
Visit theanarchistbroadway.com. The Golden Theatre is located at 252 West 45th Street.
Watch a press conference featuring LuPone and Winger: