PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: The Anarchist; Patti Wants a Parole

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03 Dec 2012

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As for her partner-in-crime constantly returning the serves on stage in this game of intense verbal tennis, she found Winger a delight to work with: "This was Debra's first time in this kind of an environment, and she was vulnerable to it and really wanted to be a part of it — and that was great to see, to see that kind of energy."

Having gotten away with a Saturday night opening (with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), lead producer Jeffrey Richards pushed the envelope a little more by booking The Anarchist for a 4 PM Sunday opening. Why? you wonder. "Why not?" he shot back. "So people could enjoy the show and have an early Sunday, that's all."

This is the seventh Mamet play that Richards has produced. "We were going to start this in London, but we decided to do it here first. There's still a lot of interest in doing it in London — and Australia and throughout this country, as a matter of fact.

"It's interesting to produce an artist like David, who has an enormous body of work that has held up as a reference as opposed to somebody doing their first play."

Richards' next Mamet calls for another Saturday night opening, Dec. 9, one theatre away from the Golden Theatre at the Schoenfeld Theatre: Glengarry Glen Ross.

First-nighters included Hamish Linklater (who's turning playwright Jan. 31 via The Vandal with Holly Hunter at The Flea); Marin Ireland; a freshly feted Jamie deRoy (who hightailed it over to the York Theatre Company for Starting Here, Starting Now with its original cast Loni Ackerman, Margery Cohen and George Lee Andrews — a one-night-only event that has been extended to two more Sundays, Dec. 9 and Dec. 16); John Cullum (fresh from his Detroit run and looking for work); James Earl Jones and wife Cecilia Hart; director Alex Timbers (readying for The Public consumption of David Byrne's Imelda Marcos musical, Here Lies Love, in March, with Ruthie Ann Miles and Jose Llana — "Your head will be spinning by the number of shoes"); Josh Lucas (back from rural Virginia filming "Wish You Well" with Ellen Burstyn and desperate to do a play again after four years); Elizabeth Ashley and her The Best Man and Dividing the Estate director, Michael Wilson; Superior Donuts Tony nominee Jon Michael Hill (taking a break from "Elementary" sleuthing on CBS); Justin Guarini; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? helmsman Pam MacKinnon; Atlantic Theater Company's Neil Pepe and Mary McCann (both of whom have done well by Mamet in the past); Mark Blum (currently of The Good Mother); Lee Wilkof (soon to be seen in the Martin Balsam role in Breakfast at Tiffany's); Sami Gayle; Newsies director Jeff Calhoun; An Enemy of the People bros Richard Thomas and Boyd Gaines (Thomas next plays an FBI agent in FX's Cold War spy series, "The Americans," and Gaines is bound for Down Under to tour Australia with James Earl Jones and Angela Lansbury in Driving Miss Daisy); Tommy Tune (bound for the Houston Grand Opera to do Cap'n Andy in Show Boat) — plus actress Rebecca Pidgeon (Mrs. Mamet) and Zosia Mamet (his daughter by Lindsay Crouse).

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