Romance and Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight

This week on L.A. Theatre Works, we bring you hour one of David Mamet‘s Romance, starring Fred Willard and Ed Begley, Jr.

In the next hour, it’s hour two of Peter Ackerman‘s comedy Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight, starring Jeffrey Donovan, Richard Kind and Mandy Siegfried.

About the plays:
A brand spanking new bedroom farce about three couples who say what they ought’nt, do what they shouldn’t, and deliver terrific one-liners while doing it!

Peter Ackerman’s screwball bedroom comedy consists mainly of a sublimely ridiculous conference call involving three pairs of lovers. The questions about sex and the proper balance between intellectual and physical attraction have no answers, but Ackerman has some interesting suggestions, and, to his credit, comedy outweighs the theorizing. –The New Yorker

THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T SAY PAST MIDNIGHT: A COMEDY IN THREE BEDS is a contemporary sex farce you should see just as soon as you can even though it’s bound to be around for quite some time. This riotously funny work is Peter Ackerman’s welcome debut as a playwright. …the hilarious dialogue just gets better and better, as the lines fly by like rapid-fire artillery. –David Kaufman, Daily NewsSingles meets Three’s Company in this boisterously naughty romp about three couples searching for love (and lust) in New York City. One pair’s quarrel sparked by bizarre, politically incorrect pillow talk sets off a farcical chain of events that includes an offbeat May-December coupling, a speakerphone-aided group-therapy session, and lots of cheerful bonking. –C C, Entertainment Weekly
************Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s Romance is an uproarious, take-no-prisoners courtroom comedy that gleefully lampoons everyone from lawyers and judges, to Arabs and Jews, to gays and chiropractors. It s hay fever season, and in a courtroom a judge (Fred Willard) is popping antihistamines. He listens to the testimony of a Jewish chiropractor (Steven Goldstein), who’s a liar, according to his anti-Semitic defense attorney (Ed Begley, Jr). The prosecutor (Gordon Clapp), a homosexual, is having a domestic squabble with his lover, who shows up in court in a leopard-print thong. And all the while, a Middle East peace conference is taking place. Masterfully wielding the argot of the courtroom, David Mamet creates a world in microcosm in which shameless fawning, petty prejudices, and sheer caprice hold sway, and the noble apparatus of law and order degenerates into riotous profanity.

About the playwrights:

David Mamet was born in Chicago in 1947. He studied at Goddard College in Vermont and at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York. He has taught at Goddard College, the Yale School of Drama, and New York University, and lectures at the Atlantic Theater Company, of which he is a founding member. He is the author of the plays The Cryptogram, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago. He has also written screenplays for such films as House of Games and the Oscar-nominated The Verdict, as well as The Spanish Prisoner, The Winslow Boy, and Wag the Dog. His plays have won the Pulitzer Prize and the Obie Award. As a playwright, he received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) and Speed-the-Plow (1988). As a screenwriter, he received Oscar nominations for The Verdict (1982) and Wag the Dog (1997). His recent books include “The Old Religion” (1997), a novel about the lynching of Leo Frank; “Five Cities of Refuge: Weekly Reflections on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy” (2004), a Torah commentary, with Rabbi Lawrence Kushner; and “The Wicked Son” (2006), a study of Jewish self-hatred and anti-Semitism, and “Bambi vs. Godzilla” an acerbic commentary on the movie business.

PETER ACKERMAN (Book Adaptor). Peter’s play, Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight, ran off-Broadway (Promenade) and London (Soho Theatre Co.) as well as in many obscure theatres around the world. He co-wrote the movie Ice Age, which was nominated for an Academy Award. His radio play I’d Rather Eat Pants was commissioned by NPR and broadcast on Morning Edition. Currently he is writing a pilot for CBS.



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