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  Race at Goodman Theatre


Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street Chicago

This latest work by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet ruthlessly examines guilt and oppression via a compelling crime mystery. Two high-profile lawyers—Henry (Geoffrey Owens) who is black, and Jack (Marc Grapey) who is white—are called to defend a wealthy white client Charles (Patrick Clear) who is charged with the rape of an African-American woman. Along with their new hire, Susan (Tamberla Perry), they soon find themselves embroiled in a complex case where blatant prejudice is as disturbing as the evidence at hand. With characteristic bluntness, Mamet leaves nothing unsaid in this no-holds-barred suspense story.

Thru - Feb 19, 2012

Price: $25-$79

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-443-3800

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

Goodman Theatre Seating Charts

Suggested Nearby Restaurant

  Race Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"... Enter the American theater's favorite conservative convert, the new Roger Ailes of the Great White Way, only smarter and yet more determined to escape the confining pins of ideological definition. Mamet's Broadway play, "Race," which has arrived at the Goodman Theatre in a savvy Chuck Smith production, is one clever takedown of pious rhetoric, cautious action and the eviscerating racial guilt that passes for daily business in the sexual-political stew that makes up the daily American dance. Especially when it comes to law, sex, class and race."
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Chris Jones

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The play is short—100 minutes with an intermission—the characters talk very fast, and there's almost no physical action, so you have to listen closely. The author's trademark salty language is conspicuously meager. (Three of the four people we see onstage are lawyers, you see, and they choose their words carefully.) Chicago theatergoers who feared that their homeboy had lost his touch after the slam-bang farce of Romance in 2006 can relax, however—David Mamet is back, doing what he does best."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...Thanks to the dynamic cast (rooted by Owens and Grapey) and superb direction from Chuck Smith this dialogue-driven production rises above its buzz-words and shock-and-awe language and manages to leave the audience with questions about their own prejudices and biases. As an aspiring young lawyer Tamberla Perry spends much of her time on stage quietly watching these men discuss the case, its repercussions and their place within it before ultimately becoming embroiled in the inevitable finale. This may not be Mamet’s most impressively twisting narrative but it leaves an indelible print on the viewer’s mind."

Zach Freeman

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...The setup immediately recalls Oleanna, Mamet’s petulant take on sexual harassment and the early-’90s obsession with “political correctness.” But while the playwright here repeats Oleanna’s penchant for writing arguments rather than characters, the arguments are at least surprisingly complex considering Mamet’s proud public slide into knee-jerk crotchety conservatism. There are moments when the dramatist retreats into his bad-boy contrarian tendencies: Some black people might resent affirmative action! How naughtily un-PC to acknowledge that! But for the most part, Mamet’s arguments are both provocative and multiperspectival."
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Kris Vire

Chicago Theatre Addict - Somewhat Recommended

"...While Goodman’s first rate production, under the direction of Chuck Smith, makes a strong plea, it’s a crime that Mamet’s writing lacks the wit and risk to make this a winning case. Or something."
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Bob Bullen

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...For a play as cynical about human nature, the workings of our justice system and not least the commonality of racism as David Mamet’s “Race” unequivocally is, the Goodman Theatre production so deftly directed by Chuck Smith is madly, almost unbearably funny."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"... Mamet’s mirror is unflattering and highly stylized. Race, like it’s characters, haughtily seems to not care much if its liberal or conservative, new or old,right or wrong. It’s hard to tell if Mamet himself buys into the kindoflazythinking expounded here or wants us to see it as a satirical and cautionary tale. Talking about racism is like talking about quantum physics.Both are tough subjects few like to discuss openly, and trying to observe anything blatantly seemstochange the outcomes while turning your backcreateschaos.Theshelter from genuine effort afforded by the jaded mind isn’t pretty,butit is an oddlyentertaining catharsis for a real world that resists satisfying answers."
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Clint May

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...Deft as the deliberately dazzling dialogue, Chuck Smith’s scourging staging sweeps us along too swiftly to see the holes in the action or hear the axes being ground. A roller coaster is never dull and neither is “Race.” Geoffrey Owens and Marc Grapey make very smooth shysters, deadpanning their putdowns of law and order like snipers firing from a rooftop."

Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...RACE kept me riveted. ‘You let your color jump on your intellect!’ Do I? Did I? RACE points fingers at the white men, black man, and black woman. Perhaps, my enjoyment of the show was based on being a white woman."
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... Anyone who loves David Mamet, will no doubt enjoy the Chicago premiere of his “Race”, now onstage at The Goodman Theatre. This Pulitzer Prize winning play is truly a no-holds-barred story filled with quick dialogue and suspense. The two act play that runs just under two hours ( but feels much quicker) is full of suspense and mystery as Mamet weaves his magic in story telling. As marvelous as a script can be, it is up to the skillful hand of the director and the members of the cast to make this all work, and Chuck Smith is truly up to the task at hand."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"... To call David Mamet’s language scathing, snappy and whip-smart is true, but trite. So I won’t. I’ll instead refer to the playwright’s words as poetry: not the lyrical lines conjuring images of flowers, but the exceedingly clever brutality that delivers a verbal punch to the gut. Exploiting to the fullest the playwright’s signature hyper-articulation, Goodman Theatre’s Race deftly probes the questions no one – except Mamet’s violently honest characters –dares to ask."

Lauren Whalen

  Race Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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