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Features

Downers Grove theater troupe to ratchet election heat of Mamet’s 'November'

Rehearsing the roles of Clarice Bernstein and President Charles Smith are Hillary Scott and Guy Sullivan in the Grove Players production of David Mamet's "November," a political satire.
Rehearsing the roles of Clarice Bernstein and President Charles Smith are Hillary Scott and Guy Sullivan in the Grove Players production of David Mamet's "November," a political satire.

DOWNERS GROVE – Grove Players kicks off its 83rd season with “November,” a political satire from acclaimed playwright David Mamet, opening Nov. 15 for two weekends.

The show about a president seeking re-election will be directed by Jason Linder, who shares a synopsis of the plot from the publisher.

“David Mamet’s … Oval Office satire depicts one day in the life of a beleaguered American commander-in-chief. It’s November in a presidential election year and incumbent Charles Smith’s chances for re-election are looking grim. Approval ratings are down, his money’s running out, and nuclear war might be imminent.

“Though his staff has thrown in the towel and his wife has begun to prepare for her post-White House life, Chuck isn’t ready to give up just yet. Amidst the biggest fight of his political career, the president has to find time to pardon a couple of turkeys – saving them from the slaughter before Thanksgiving – and this simple PR event inspires Smith to risk it all in an attempt to win back public support.

“With Mamet’s characteristic no-holds-barred style, November is a scathingly hilarious take on the state of America today and the lengths to which people will go to win.”

The troupe notes the timing of the production couldn’t be more perfect given the current political climate.

The cast is anchored by Guy Sullivan (President Charles Smith). Gary Murphy (Archer Brown), Hillary Scott (Clarice Bernstein), Galen Malick (the representative of the National Association of Turkey and Turkey Products) and Anthony Urso (Dwight Grackle) join Sullivan in bringing Mamet’s political shenanigans to life.

“‘November’ is a beautifully constructed Oval Office satire that depicts what lengths politicians will go through to get re-elected,” Linder said in an email. “As we start the four-year election cycle gauntlet of daily political mailers, [endless] campaign ads on TV, and the sea of campaign posters start to spring up on lawns like dandelions in spring, this show is sure to give the audience respite by [thumbing] its nose at the entire re-election campaign process.”

Linder said he and the cast have gone to great lengths to ensure that political affiliation is completely ambiguous in the play so as not to leave any audience member feeling like the brunt of all the jokes.

The troupe reminds people that Mamet is known for his adult language and themes. Viewer discretion is advised if one is offended by strong language and content.

If you go

WHAT: Grove Players production of David Mamet’s “November”

WHERE: Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave., Downers Grove

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15 to 24

COST: $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors and students

INFO: www.groveplayers.org/current-production, 630-415-3682

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