photo: Craig Schwartz
Has time taken the sting out of David Mamet's two-hander between a male university professor and a female student who accuses him of sexual harassment? Not in the least. In fact I found this production, directed with psychological credibility by Doug Hughes and starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, to be more visceral and provocative than the original years ago (directed by the playwright) in which William H. Macy and Rebecca Pidgeon seemed to be playing ideas rather than characters. Despite its advertising, the play is not really a "he said she said" Rashomon which divides the audience's sympathies between the two characters - it's too stacked against the female for that. But when you believe the characters, as you do here, it riles the audience and provokes a variety of interpretations. I haven't felt a Broadway audience as charged as this one since Albee's The Goat, which coincidentally played at the same theatre and also starred Bill Pullman.