Stage Write: David Mamet’s RACE at Canadian Stage

We just love going to the the-a-tah. Last night, we were thrilled to attend the buzziest opening night of the 2013 season, the much-anticipated Canadian
Stage
production of RACE. In fact, we loved it so much, you should probably stop reading this and go book your tickets now (pro-tip: check out Canadian Stage’s Facebook ticketing app to score $10 day-of rush tickets between 10 a.m. and noon). Seriously. It was intense, controversial, very well-acted and the 90 minute production flew by.

A new Canadian production featuring some of this country’s top talent (*cough* Jason
Priestley
*cough*) take the stage in this provocative drama written by David Mamet (who you may know as the outspoken and award-winning playwright who wrote classics like Glengarry Glen Ross and Oleanna, or as the father of Girls star Zosia Mamet).


Brandon Walsh goes from sweet to gritty. We like.
Image courtesy of Canadian Stage.*

Sharply written with wit and incendiary dialogue, Mamet
crafts a social commentary on race relations, prejudices and gender politics. The play
is bound to spark plenty of debate, as well-off white guy Charles Strickland (Matthew Edison) embarks on a legal
battle
after being accused
of raping a young black woman.



The cast feeling some tension in RACE.
Image courtesy of Canadian Stage*



The one act play takes place in the office of cut-throat interracial legal team Jack Lawson (played by Priestley), Henry Brown (Nigel Shawn Williams) and legal associate Susan (Cara Ricketts), as they find themselves the attorneys of record on a controversial case that no other lawyer in town will touch with a ten-foot pole. As the case unfolds, it exposes much more than a vicious crime. 

Jason Priestley and Nigel Shawn Williams command 
the stage as legal duo Jack and Henry.
Image courtesy of Canadian Stage*

The dialogue-driven drama delivers heavy subject matter (with some quite spicy language) in a way that is thought-provoking and challenging without being intimidating. The incredibly talented cast knock it out of the park under the guidance of director Daniel Brooks
Don’t miss RACE at the Bluma Appel Theatre until May 5.
Image courtesy of Canadian Stage*
One of the best moments from opening night happened after the show – you may have heard about a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother on which Priestley appeared as a guest star. In the episode, he fantasized about a strawberry jelly doughnut stuffed with a chocolate Timbit as his dream doughnut. The restaurant responded in a savvy way by tweeting a photo of a mock-up doughnut they created. A win, all around. 
As a surprise for Priestley last night, Canadian Stage got a few The Priestleys made and presented to them to the visibly surprised star of the show. He took a bite and pronounced it delicious. A sweet surprise to cap off an amazing evening!
Tickets for the show start at $22, and will be on stage now until Sunday, May 5 at the Bluma Appel Theatre. 

*Production photos by David Hou. Set design by Debra Hanson.
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