By David Mamet

Directed by J. R. Stuart

Reviewed by Carlos Manuel

Entire contents are copyright © 2012 Carlos Manuel. All rights reserved.

Sean Childress as The President in David Mamet’s November.
Photo courtesy of Louisville Repertory Company.

Louisville Repertory Company’s (LRC) production of November by David Mamet is a hilarious romp filled with laughter from the moment the lights go up to the moment the lights go down. Under the direction of J. R. Stuart, and with a talented quartet of actors, this production is a blessing from the sky during this election season.

Novemberis a satirical comedy which centers its story on the President of United States several days before his re-election. Needless to say, tensions are high, especially when the president himself has learned that he hardly has any campaign TV ads being broadcast around the country. He knows, along with his personal advisor, that most likely he’s not going to be re-elected, and worse, he will have no presidential legacy, not even a library to his name. And so, with David Mamet’s characteristic theatrical-foul-language and with the most politically incorrect verbiage you can imagine, the president (played here with serious hilarity by Sean Childress) embarks on a personal quest to “make things right” by doing and saying all the wrong things. And the non-stop laughter begins.

LRC’s production is very enjoyable, mainly because the actors worked together and did not miss a cue –  well, almost. There were a few hiccups. But when you have to deliver Mamet’s dialogue at the speed of light, and you have to keep a serious face when being part of a ridiculous story plot, stopping to breathe sometimes seems important.

You don’t have to be on “Mitt’s Team” or “’Obama’s Team” to enjoy this show. There is no “blue team or red team” here. There is simply the fact of a chaotic day at the Oval Office. And when you hear the President of the United States used the “F-word” countless times and be the most political incorrect individual on the face of the earth, you will be shocked into laughing – just like the audience was laughing on the night I attended.

But as I said before, what makes this production very enjoyable is not only the ridiculous plot (the Presidential Pardon of not one, but two, turkeys is a major plot point in this play), but the talented quartet of actors who put everything on stage to make this satire a welcome theatrical experience. Aside from Mr. Childress, Michael Roberts as Archer Brown, the President’s advisor, is spot-on with his one-liners, his delivery, his attitude and, overall, his facial gestures. Brandon Saylor as A Representative of the National Association of Turkey and Turkey By-products Manufactures (I told you it was ridiculous) is frustratingly funny. And Tiffany Taylor as Clarice Bernstein, the President’s speech writer, is comically inspiring. There is a fifth actor, but he only appears for the last five minutes of the show. Rich Williams as Dwight Grackle is also someone to laugh with because…well, you don’t need a reason. Trust me on this one.

LRC opens its twentieth season with November, and what a great way to commemorate 20 years of theatrical achievements. If you are tired (like I am) of all the political TV ads, Facebook political postings, political emails, political mailings, and all the political rhetoric going on right now, head to The MeX Theatre at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts and watch LRC’s production of November. You will be entertained and will laugh out loud, a much needed cure during this election season.


Oct. 26, 27 and 29 and Nov. 2 and 3 at 8:00 p.m.; Nov. 4 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets $16; Industry Night (Mon. Oct. 29), all tickets $11;
Groups of 10 or more $11 each

Get your tickets today! Call 502-584-7777
or save ticketing fees by stopping by The Kentucky Center box office or ticketing drive-through.

Louisville Repertory Company

The MeX Theatre, The Kentucky Center

501 West Main Street

Louisville, KY 40202