LuPone was cast as an inmate serving a life sentence and Debra Winger was the woman who must determine whether she was fit for parole in the tautly-penned, 70-minute play that began previews Nov. 13, 2012 at the newly renovated Golden.
PHOTO RECAP: The Anarchist Opens On Broadway; Red Carpet Arrivals, Curtain Call and Cast Party
Tony Award-nominated and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Mamet (Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow) was the director.
LuPone told Playbill in an 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."
The Anarchist marked 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 had scenic and costume design by Academy Award winner Patrizia Von Brandenstein and lighting by Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter. The premiere was produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Howard and Janet Kagan.