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Race (play)

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Title: Race (play)  
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Subject: Eddie Izzard, Richard Thomas (actor), Kerry Washington, Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, Philadelphia Theatre Company
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Race (play)

Original Broadway poster
Written by David Mamet
Date premiered 2009
Place premiered Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York, NY
Original language English
Genre Drama
IBDB profile

Race is a play by David Mamet that premiered on Broadway in December 2009.


Race premiered on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on November 16, 2009 in previews, officially on December 6, 2009, closing on August 21, 2010 after 297 performances and 23 previews. Directed by Mamet, the cast included James Spader, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington, and Richard Thomas. Scenic design was by Santo Loquasto, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and costume design by Tom Broecker. David Alan Grier was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play.

The producers announced on April 21, 2010 that the play had recouped its investment, making it the first new play to recoup on Broadway in the 2009-2010 season.

The play has been produced in US regional theatres, such as at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 2012.[1]

Canadian Stage's production starring Jason Priestley ran from April 7 to May 4, 2013 at the St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto, Canada.[2]

It was produced in the UK at London's Hampstead Theatre from 23 May to 29 June 2013, directed by Terry Johnson and with a cast comprising Jasper Britton, Charles Daish, Clarke Peters and Nina Toussaint-White.[3] [4]


Race follows "three attorneys, two black and one white, offered a chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black woman." The plot unfolds as the three lawyers and defendant grapple with the evidence of the case and their own feelings about race. Mamet has said that the "theme is race and the lies we tell each other on the subject." [5] [6]

Characters and Broadway cast

Critical reception

The play has received mixed reviews.[8]

Ben Brantley, in his review for The New York Times, wrote: "Though the first act of 'Race' is similarly propelled by barbed one-liners, its second act offers reassuring evidence of Mr. Mamet’s scalpel-edged intelligence. And the issues it raises, particularly on the ethnic varieties of shame and the universal nature of guilt, should offer ample nutrition for many a post-theater dinner conversation.... Yet despite the tension of its subject, and an abundance of the corkscrew plot twists for which Mr. Mamet is known, “Race” lacks real dramatic tension."

Brantley gives James Spader a rave in his Broadway debut, stating, "Mr. Spader could play Jack with his heavy-lidded eyes closed. He keeps them wide open, and considers every inflection and gesture in creating the one role in “Race” with more layers than the who’s-scamming-whom plot. He’s good enough to make you wish that Mr. Mamet had given his other actors the same opportunity."[9]


External links

  • Internet Broadway Database

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