By guest blogger Anna Holloway
The Oklahoma premier of David Mamet’s hit Broadway farce NOVEMBER is the first show of CityRep’s 11th season. A scathing and hilarious look at politics American style, NOVEMBER opens September 7 and runs Friday-Sunday until September 23. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 1:30.
CityRep, the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre, regarded as Oklahoma’s leading small professional Equity Theater, chose to open the season with this timely comedy by one of America’s greatest living playwrights, David Mamet. The sometimes salty dialog and sharply drawn characters are familiar hallmarks of the Pulitzer Prize winning author’s style. NOVEMBER is one of Mamet’s rare stage comedies, and his broad use of farce plays with the human side of how power corrupts and how human dignity can rise above even political corruption. “It’s absolutely not a partisan play,” Mamet says firmly. “It’s a play about a president. Not this president, or the next.” This even-handed skewering of the foibles of our all-too-human politicians makes for an evening of laugh out loud “I can’t believe he said that” fun.
Marcellus Hankins returns to the CityRep stage as embattled President Charles Smith, a lovable rogue dealing with poll numbers that are “lower than Gandhi’s cholesterol” while his speechwriter, played by Kris Schinske, has disappeared on a vacation to adopt a baby on the eve of the election. Chief-of-Staff Archer Brown (CityRep regular Steve Emerson) juggles the President’s ego and insecurities, the responsibilities of the office and the limits of the law in Smith’s unlikely quest for a second term. Political greed, corporate interests and the sensitivities of special interest groups all come into play in the keenly drawn satirical masterpiece.
The play takes place entirely in the Oval Office. Recreating this familiar location in the CitySpace theatre in the Civic Center’s lower level is all part of the fun and audiences will have no trouble imagining themselves inside the White House as the story unfolds on the intimate stage.
Amidst all the laughter and mayhem, CityRep is also seriously continuing its mission of service to central Oklahoma by working to make voter registration information available in the theatre lobby.
Artistic Director Donald Jordan says, “Voting is our great privilege, and a civic duty. So whether you are a “Republi-crat,” a “Demo-can’t,” or like me, just politically indecisive, we hope you’ll come enjoy this funny look at our country’s penchant for wild and wooly politics!”
Contact the Civic Center Box office, 405-297-2264 for individual seats, or call CityRep’s managing director Michael Jones at 405-410-8035 for information on the CityRep season ticket Flexpass. This production is rated “R” for strong adult language and adult themes.