Race is about three lawyers—two partners, one African-American, one white, and their young, African-American law clerk—who are deciding whether or not to take the case of wealthy white man accused of raping an African-American woman. The play, like the case, is not open and shut. Shame, guilt, class, sex, lies and, of course, race, are all provocatively stirred together in this fast-paced show that will probably leave theatergoers dissecting and discussing it long after the curtain goes down. As the playwright wrote in a recent essay about his work, “Race, like sex, is a subject on which it is near impossible to tell the truth.” Audience members will undoubtedly bring their own set of judgments and preconceptions into this work that delves into a most complicated and fraught subject.
Should I See It?
What Is Race Like?
If you like the quick banter of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, the gloves-off approach of Speed the Plow and the provocative subject matter of Oleanna, you will enjoy all three in Race. Mamet is doing what he does best with this show: choosing an incendiary topic and asking more questions than he answers. Is this the most incendiary show of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright? That’s debatable, but it does seem that he’s found a new four-letter word in Race