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BWW TV: Broadway Beat Sneak Peek - A LIFE IN THE THEATRE Meet the Press!

The Broadway premiere of David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre, starring Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight will begin previews on September 21st, 2010 and officially open on Tuesday, October 12th at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 W. 45th St.). Its limited engagement will play through January 2nd, 2011. The show's two stars and director met the press on August 25th and Broadway Beat was there!

A Life in the Theatre will be directed by Neil Pepe, who directed the acclaimed revival of Mamet's Speed-The-Plow on Broadway last season, and feature scenic design by Santo Loquasto (Race, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo), lighting design by Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Wicked, Hairspray), and costume design by Laura Bauer (Talk Radio, Glengarry Glen Ross, Talk Radio).

A Life in the Theatre made its world premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago in February of 1977 with Mike Nussbaum and Joe Mantegna and directed by Gregory Mosher. The play first opened off-Broadway on October 20, 1977 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and ran for 288 performances. That production was directed by Gerald Gutierrez and starred Peter Evans and Ellis Rabb.

Mel Gussow of The New York Times said: "Though the work has serious undertones, it is first of all a comedy - and Mr. Mamet's language glistens. His writing is a cross between the elegant and the vernacular, an ironic combination that is uniquely his own...He is an eloquent master of two-part harmony. An abundantly gifted playwright, he brings new life to the theater."

Describing life in the footlights from an actor's point of view, A Life in the Theatre focuses on the relationship between two thespians: Robert, an older, experienced performer; and John, a relative newcomer. Though Robert's guidance is welcomed by John at first, as the play progresses Robert falters as an actor and mentor, and John emerges as a mature actor. Mamet was inspired to write A Life in the Theatre by what he had observed backstage as well as by his own experiences in his early career as an actor.

Photo by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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