Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

A Life in the Theatre

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This funny, moving revival of David Mamet's wry 1977 one-act perfectly captures the clipped rhythms, cryptic pauses, casual profanity, and semantic precision that are hallmarks of a writer for whom drama lies in character and language rather than action. Thematically, too, this is quintessential Mamet, charting the evolving relationship between an ambitious youngster and his mentor, a world-weary veteran. Hilarious parodies of classic drama are interspersed with scenes in which the men talk about the craft of acting and the meaning of art. Director Robert Falls's finely paced production, beautifully acted by David Darlow and Matt Schwader, launches the Goodman's Mamet festival, intended to reevaluate the playwright who helped shape off-Loop theater in the 1970s--and introduce his theatrical work to audiences who may know him mainly by his new TV drama The Unit. Through 4/9: Wed 7:30 PM, Thu 2 and 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 2 and 8 PM, Sun 2 and 7:30 PM, Sat 3/18, 8 PM only, Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, 312-443-3800, $20-$65, festival passes $70-$205.

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