Music has its “Mostly Mozart” festival, but theater this year has been mainly Mamet. David Mamet’s epigrammatic combats have been erupting all over the place, from the heavy bouts on Broadway—notably the superb revival of Oleanna with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles—to the slightly slighter off-off-Broadway skirmishes of School and Keep Your Pantheon. But those were the undercard for the heavyweight Mamet main event, which is his new play, Race, a clever inversion of the courtroom drama conceit: Whereas sophomore-year evergreens like The Crucible and Inherit the Wind are plays presented in the form of trials, Race is a trial in the form of a play. The action never gets beyond the book-lined law offices where Jack Lawson (James Spader) and his law partner, Henry Brown (David Alan Grier), invent the plot and characters by which they hope to secure the...


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