'Oleanna' set to close on Broadway Jan. 3
Class soon will be dismissed for David Mamet's "Oleanna."
The Broadway premiere of his 1992 play, starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, has posted a closing notice. Producers of the intense, two-person drama about sexual politics in a university town said the play will close Jan. 3 at the John Golden Theatre.
Directed by Doug Hughes, the production of "Oleanna" first opened at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. in June featuring the same cast. It opened on Broadway in October, receiving mixed to positive reviews.
Some reports have stated that the production was struggling to fill seats on Broadway, although the producers did not directly address that in their statement today.
The play's harsh subject matter may not have helped ticket sales: a university professor (Pullman) gets involved in a war of words with a young student (Stiles), who accuses him of improprieties. Speaking in the clipped, abrasive style that is Mamet's trademark, both characters can seem unsympathetic and even off-putting.
In a statement, producer Jeffrey Finn said: "We've had great audiences since September, and as our sales are concentrated through the holidays, January feels like the right time to end."
Perhaps coincidentally, another David Mamet play begins performances this week on Broadway. "Race," a new drama that stars James Spader and is directed by the playwright himself, is playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, with an official opening date set for Dec. 6.
-- David Ng
Photo: A scene from "Oleanna," starring Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman, at the Mark Taper Forum. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times