Four-Letter Word: David Mamet's Race Begins on Broadway Nov. 16

By Ernio Hernandez
November 16, 2009

David Mamet addresses the issue of Race in the world premiere of his newest play. James Spader, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington and Richard Thomas star in the work that begins on Broadway Nov. 16.

The playwright directs the production slated to open Dec. 6 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Mamet explained the plot in a New York Times article this way: "In my play a firm made up of three lawyers, two black and one white, is offered the chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black young woman. It is a play about lies." He added: "All drama is about lies. When the lie is exposed, the play is over."

The four-person cast features Spader ("Boston Legal" and "Sex, Lies, and Videotape"), Grier (…Forum and "Streamers"), Washington ("Ray," " The Last King of Scotland") and Thomas (Twelve Angry Men, Democracy and "The Waltons").

The design team for Race includes Santo Loquasto (sets), Brian Macdevitt (lighting) and Tom Broecker (costumes).

Mamet's Oleanna currently runs on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre. Productions of Speed-the-Plow, American Buffalo, November and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Glengarry Glen Ross have played in recent seasons. Other works include Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Boston Marriage, The Duck Variations, Edmond and The Cryptogram.

Race is produced by on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Jam Theatricals, JK Productions, Peggy Hill & Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Scott M. Delman, Terry Allen Kramer/James L. Nederlander, Swinsky Deitch, Bat-Barry Productions, Ronald Frankel, James Fuld Jr., Kathleen K. Johnson, Terry Schnuck, The Weinstein Company, Jay & Cindy Gutterman/Stewart Mercer and Marc Frankel.

Tickets to Race at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 West 47th St., can be purchased by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information, visit