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Who wins with Mamet musical chairs?

November 09, 2012|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Al Pacino will star in Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Al Pacino will star in Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." (Debra L. Rothenberg )

The news this week that the Broadway production of David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” would delay its opening night by nearly a month, to Dec. 8, means that a Broadway already starved for some sizzle this season will have to wait a while longer.

Producers said the delay was related to Superstorm Sandy. The storm canceled a few days of rehearsal, requiring opening night to be pushed, and Dec. 8 was the next available ideal night, they said.

Yeah, we’re skeptical too.

So what does the delay change? First, the wave of Thanksgiving tourists who stream into Times Square (a smaller group than Christmas, but they still come) will now see a preview performance at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater instead of a post-opening one.

The delayed opening (incidentally, the run has been extended three weeks on the back end, to Jan. 20) also means that the reviews are delayed as well. That leaves nearly four weeks when tickets can be sold  — and they’re already going like hotcakes — without fear of bad reviews slowing them down.

It also means the actors, including Al Pacino and Bobby Cannavale, will have several dozen more performances to hone their performances, potentially upping the quality of those reviews when they do run.

But maybe the most far-reaching change involves a different Mamet piece. Dec. 2 is when the playwright’s new work, the two-woman prison drama “The Anarchist,” opens just down the street at the Golden Theatre.

“The Anarchist” has some star-power in its own right:  Broadway favorite Patti LuPone and screen celeb Debra Winger. But two Mamet plays opening within days of each other (and just steps from each other) isn’t exactly great news for the lesser-known play. Theatergoers in a Mamet mood may find the choice between the iconic “Glengarry” and the unknown “Anarchist” an easy one. (Interestingly, the same producer is behind both productions.)

It’s been a tepid season on Broadway thus far — mixed notices for some high-profile revivals (“The Heiress,” e.g.) and very few exciting new plays. With the ur-text of real-estate salesmanship now delayed, theatergoers will continue looking for new leads.

ALSO:

Glengarry Broadway opening delayed a month

Classic cases of Broadway recycling

Theater review: Glengarry Glen Ross at La Jolla Playhouse

Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

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