Spring Arts Guide 2013

Race Feb. 6-March 17 at Theater J

David Mamet leaves no doubt as to the subject of his latest work: It’s right there in the title. Race, which premiered on Broadway in 2009, is now underway at Theater J, and looks at that subject via a story about a trio of lawyers called on to defend a wealthy white man charged with raping a black woman. Two of the lawyers are black, one white; two are male and veteran litigators, the other is a young woman. That setup gives plenty of room for Mamet to build a narrative around not just the tense prejudices rising from the racial mix, but also to go after issues of privilege, legal ethics (or lack thereof), and media obsession with celebrity—the accused is famous as well as rich. Mamet sets things up in part as a mystery, leaving some doubt as to the guilt or innocence of the client, allowing him to create some narrative twists to go along with his examination of society’s still-uneasy relationship with racial issues. And we can expect all of this, of course, to be delivered with the freezing-rain sting of Mamet’s trademark barbed and staccato writing. $30-$45.

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