Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, La Bete, and A Life in the Theatre--Second Helpings on 45th Street

A fake Andrew Jackson and a fake Moliere join a real Patrick Stewart on Broadway

Spoof plays and verbal ping-pong also fill David Mamet's 1976 comedy, A Life in the Theatre (Schoenfeld Theatre), but Mamet has built something deeper underneath this chronicle of an older actor (Patrick Stewart) heading downhill and his young colleague (T.R. Knight) on the rise: a dryly abstract yet compassionate parable of bonding and competitiveness, of youth learning from and inevitably supplanting age. Regrettably, Neil Pepe's production fuses no such feelings into the backstage fun. His actors, both accomplished individually, make no emotional connection; Santo Loquasto's settings make the rep theater they work in seem as vast and anonymous as the Met.

The couplet couple: Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce in La Bête
Joan Marcus
The couplet couple: Mark Rylance and David Hyde Pierce in La Bête

Details

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
By Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman
Jacobs Theatre
242 West 45th Street
212-239-6200, telecharge.com

La Bête
By David Hirson
Music Box Theatre
239 West 45th Street
212-239-6200, telecharge.com

A Life in the Theatre
By David Mamet
Schoenfeld Theatre
236 West 45th Street
212-239-6200, telecharge.com

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mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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