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Monday, April 9, 2012

An Open Letter To David Mamet (Carm Grisolia)



Dear Dave,

Hi!  How have you been?  I'm ok, all things considered.  But the old construction business has been a little tricky for the last little bit.  Seems like it's getting harder to earn a living off of working with your hands, you know?  You know.  The wife and kids are doing pretty good eventhough money is tight.  I keep telling myself we will make it back into the middle-class someday.  I'm prolly wrong.  Hey, that's one of your words, right?  “Prolly.”  Like the way real people say, “probably.”  Well, if it's not, it should be.  Because you're so fucking real.

Hey, speaking of  “so fucking real,” is your show still running over there at Goodman?  I haven't had a chance, because, you know-- “weight of the world” and “gas prices” all that.   And anyways, I was supposed to see it and do a review or whatever, but I figured I'm pretty real myself.  So I prolly didn't really need to see it.  It's like with your one book you wrote--  I just borrowed it from some asshole and just looked at the dust cover.  Never read it, never returned it.  Guy was an asshole anyways, right? 

But the point is-- I got your point from the cover or what other people said on the cover or whatever.  I didn't need to read it, because guys like you and me-- real fucking guys-- understand each other.  It's like there's a beautiful fucking power in simple-- like guys like us drink from the same, or deeply, or whatever. 

And then, lightbulb goes off and I realize that  the whole, it seems trite or, but “judge a book by it's cover” is like your whole thing, right?  So the point you prolly make in Race is that black people are black people and white people are white people and that's all we need to know-- what we can tell from looking at them, because that's all we know anyways, right?  I mean, am I right?  We already know what we need to know by looking at the cover.  And then some of the books we decide to read for some reason, and then we like them or we don't.  But it doesn't really change our opinion of books in general.  Which are mostly pretty stupid and self-centered.  And even some of the good ones get burned, if you follow me.  You follow me.

So nice try, Buddyboy, but I don't need to see it now to know that it's prolly got some upper class black people and some upper class white people, and some lower-class of each color, and there's prolly a bunch of prejudice and mistrust on both parts and some kind of disagreement or conflict over possession of some valuable thing, or some alleged crime that happened way in the past, which will give all parties concerned a chance to deliver a rant that has a lot of anger and a few kernels of truth as they say, and everyone who sees it will see their own opinion represented, except it doesn't really matter because no one will change their mind over it.  Cool.  That would make a pretty good play-- even in the hands of some random asshole, performed by any bunch of self-loathing assholes for any bunch of pretentious snobs.

But this ain't just random assholes and snobs.  You are David Mamet and this is The Goodman.  Performing words that sound just like the words real people say written by a Treasure of the American Theater and tackling an incendiary topic with stunning authenticity for an  audience of lakefront liberals least-likely to be affected by the themes of this masterpiece anywhere at any time.  But relevant, all the way to the bank, am I right?  In fact, it is so jaw-droppingly relevant that the Goodman didn't even need to set it on the moon during the Nazi occupation of France and cast some hot, young white chick as The Grizzled Old Negro Who Works in the Governor's Mansion, like they have to do with that Shakespeare bullshit.  Relevance, Edginess, Rich People.  This formula causes such a surefire nuclear explosion of a hit that this reviewer doesn't even need to see it to know it's an instant classic.

And that is why I am giving your show, Race at the Goodman, 12 out of 12 stars.  My highest rating.  One real-life guy to another.

So I guess that's my review, in case I don't get around to seeing it or if it already closed.  Nice job again, Bro.  And hey, not for nothing, but how about dropping one of these “relevant” solid-gold turds on an actual storefront theater with real people performing at it once in awhile?  Remember how you used to? When you were real?


Stay Real,

Carm Grisolia

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