The Theater: David Mamet's Bond of Futility


Even before the action starts at Manhattan's Ethel Barrymore Theater, Santo Loquasto's setting begins to tell the story. It depicts a junk shop, a clutter of old furniture, toys and appliances that poignantly reflect the battered, grimy souls who cast them off.

Similarly, David Mamet's play is a sort of junk shop of language, and it too is forlornly eloquent. The speech of Mamet's three characters—the owner of the store and two neighborhood punks who hang out there—is an incrustation of street slang, non sequiturs, malapropisms and compulsive obscenity....

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