Choice: Theatre: Sexual Perversity in Chicago
Friday 27 February 1998
Did you see the film comedy of sexual manners About Last Night? It had its moments: Demi Moore producing a Thanksgiving Day turkey and announcing "It's official: I've become my mother," or Elizabeth Perkins's snappy retort to a one-night stand's smug request for breakfast: "McDonalds, it's five blocks away". But compared to David Mamet's (above) razor-sharp one-act play Sexual Perversity in Chicago, on which it was based, it's tired and tepid. Mamet pares scenes down to the bone, producing an explicit, brilliantly comic, smart-mouthed study of men trying to fix women and women trying to figure out men. Danny knows everything there is to know about women, so he's got plenty of advice for his friend Bernie who's getting involved with Deborah to the disgust of her teacher friend Joan. Without plays like this, Patrick Marber's Closer would never have been written. This rehearsed reading is a welcome start to the New Vic Basement's inaugural season.
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