Our next production
After widespread belief that Mamet could only write for men, the playwright released this play, which centers exclusively on women.
Directed by Mark Phillips Schwamberger
Vicky Welsh Bragg, Kathy Sturm and Kathy Hyland
It was a time of “Boston marriages” between women. But what happened behind closed doors is anybody’s guess.
“Boston marriage” as a term is said to have been in use in New England in the decades spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries to describe two women living together.
The fact of relatively formalized romantic friendships or life partnerships between women predates the term “Boston marriage” and there is a long record of it in England and other European countries. The term “Boston marriage” became associated with Henry James’ The Bostonians (1886), a novel involving a long-term co-habiting relationship between two unmarried women. James’ sister Alice lived in such a relationship with Katherine Loring and was among his sources for the novel.
THE STORY: Anna and Claire are two bantering, scheming “women of fashion” who have long lived together on the fringes of upper-class society. Anna has just become the mistress of a wealthy man, from whom she has received an enormous emerald and an income to match. Claire, meanwhile, is infatuated with a respectable young lady and wants to enlist the jealous Anna’s help for an assignation. As the two women exchange barbs and take turns taunting Anna’s hapless Scottish parlor maid, Claire’s young inamorata suddenly appears, setting off a crisis that puts both the valuable emerald and the women’s futures at risk. To this wickedly funny comedy, Mamet brings his trademark tart dialogue and impeccable plotting, spiced with Wildean wit.
“Brilliant…One of Mamet’s most satisfying and accomplished plays and one of the funniest American comedies in years.” —NY Post.
“Devastatingly funny…exceptionally clever…demonstrates anew [Mamet’s] technical virtuosity and flexibility.” —NY Times.
“Wickedly, wittily entertaining…What makes the play…such brilliant fun is its marriage of glinting period artifice and contemporary frankness.” —Boston Phoenix.
“[Mamet’s characters] are at each other’s throats with a wit akin to characters out of Wilde and a vengeance not unlike those from Pinter, Edward Albee, or Mamet himself.” —Boston Globe.
Previews: July 14 & 15 at 8 PM
Performances: July 20 – 22 at 8 PM; July 23 at 2 PM; July 26 – 29 at 8 PM
Van Fleet Theatre, Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave., Columbus, OH 43215