The Mustard Seed Theater's current production, "Mrs. Sorken" and "The Duck Variations," features two short pieces presented in a fast-paced and quickly executed evening of theater. The engaging cast, complemented by an appropriately nondescript set and technical design, are seasoned veterans who inhabit their characters with a light, cheery touch and deft sense of timing.
I'm grateful to the West End Players Guild for doing an evening of four one-act plays. There exists a fascinating store of one-act plays written over the years, some by our greatest playwrights, but theatres don't often find a way to work them into their schedules. Under the collective title A Woman's Place, the Guild chose four that place women in crucial roles. Two of the pieces are by playwrights whose names are very familiar, though the plays aren't, to me. David Mamet's "Australia" takes only a few moments and is packed with dialogue immediately recognizable as Mamet-speak, though here spoken not by men but by two women, played with fine sensitivity to the playwright's style by Susan Elaine Rasch and Elissa Schrader.
In November, playwright David Mamet has written a farce about American politics. Mamet always puts comic moments in his plays, but those plays usually stay within hailing distance of recognizable reality. November certainly presents recognizable elements of the American processes of government. But they're stretched beyond the boundaries of familiar reality, though not, as always in good farce, beyond the bounds of credibility within their own crazed world.