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Broadway Play 'The Anarchist' Labeled 'Dull' By Critics

By O'Jay Burgess on Dec 03, 2012 05:51 PM EST

David Mamet's recent play "The Anarchist," opened on Sunday at the John Golden Theatre in New York. Mamet's piece is 75 minutes long and is centered on just two characters, Patti Lupone as Cathy, and Debra Winger as Ann.

The production is about a woman who is put away for life (Lupone), and another who's committed to making her stay put (Winger). 

Critics have weighed in on Mamet's latest project and are divided particularly about the two actresses in the piece. 

Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote:  

"Ms. LuPone, a Mamet veteran, navigates these clotted waters like the freestyle champion she is. Ms. Winger, in her Broadway debut, mostly dog paddles." LuPone's performance reminds us that "this Tony-winning star of musicals is a terrific dramatic actress."

The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney said the play can be best described as "aridly intellectual two-hander" that is "desiccated, dull and virtually without drama." Like The Times, Rooney was full of praise for LuPone but lukewarm on Winger:

"LuPone is a "natural" when it comes to Mamet dialogue, while Winger is still "finding her way." The play is "a poor fit for Broadway and a $130 top ticket." 

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune decided to focus on LuPone saying "she understands how to foreground his language without giving up the rest of what an actor does."

The Associated  Press Mark Kennedy wrote:

"Seems more like a fragment of a play, or an acting exercise or a film short." The dialogue is "very smart, just not very interesting." Mamet ultimately undermines himself with "a creepy fascination with lesbianism and a play that seems to hate pausing even for a second."   

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