The other night I was treated to an entertaining night of theatre at the Goodman . This time it was David Mamet’s RACE. The play calls to mind questions that are in all of us. Mamet’s work addresses the pessimist’s side that exists in all of us. He uses humor to allow the audience to be entertained as well as to think.
“RACE” involves two high profile attorneys , Jack Lawson who is a white attorney and his partner in the firm, Henry Brown. Brown is an African American attorney. Both Brown and Lawson are brought a case where a rich white businessman is accused of rape. The two argue whether they think the client is indeed guilty based on circumstantial evidence. The third person that contributes to the drama of the performance is the young attorney Susan, who is also coincidentally African American. Her take on the case aids to confuse the two lawyers as she uses her brains by reminding Lawson that she herself lied to get her position. This makes the lawyers completely change their minds about the case as well.
The two lawyers are played by well known actors Marc Grapey and Geoffrey Owens. Owens is best known for his portrayal in the eighties as Elvin , the son in law of Cliff Huxtable on the classic The Cosby Show. Grapey is known to television audiences as JJ Mitchell on the cult classic Sex and the City. Each of these actors play well off of each other in a game of theatrical ping pong. Goodman main stay, Patrick Clear is the white man accused of rape . Tamberla Perry , a newcomer to the Goodman stage, plays the young attorney Susan. Perry by no means is a stranger to Chicago stages, she has also appeared at Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf , and Lookingglass Theatres.
Is Charles guilty or not? That’s what you will find yourself asking as you exit the theatre. Race is directed by Chuck Smith and runs until February 19 at the Goodman.