In a high-priced New York law firm, the two senior partners are expertly grilling a high-profile, but potentially problematic, prospective client—a famous billionaire who stands accused of rape. He's white, his accuser is African-American. He claims it was part of an ongoing, consensual relationship; she's gone to the DA and is about to go to the press. The two men closely cross-examining him cross the racial divide as well—indeed, that's one of the main reasons he's asked them to represent him. Now they have to decide if they can actually take the case.
In our summer preview, I called David Mamet's scathing 2009 drama, Race, one of the most incendiary scripts to come our way in some time. Though written two years before the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, it effectively anticipated much of the ensuing discourse around it. But, despite its one-word title, in a room laced with cultural trip wires, Mamet's characters interrogate their client, each other and finally us about what we really believe, deep down, about those on the other side of the color line, the gender lineandthe money line. Wed-Sat 8 pm, Sun 3 pm. —Byron Woods