Mamet ( Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow) also directed his prison-set drama that began previews Nov. 13 and officially opened Dec. 2. Critics did not warm to the 70-minute work that cast LuPone as an inmate serving a life sentence and Winger as the woman who must determine whether she is fit for parole. It was originally scheduled to play a 14-week run through Feb. 17, 2013.
"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," LuPone told Playbill.com in a recent interview. Adding, "These are cerebral arguments and they're legitimate arguments facing people in prison today. I don't think the performance will ever be incendiary because it might diffuse the argument. The fireworks are in the language. Come in, and sit down, and listen. Let the play do the work, and let the play work on you."
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, 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: