Theatre Mirror Reviews - "NOVEMBER"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

Note: Entire Contents Copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone


Reviewed by Tony Annicone

MMAS' current show is "November" by David Mamet. It is an oval office farce which centers on an imploding president, Charles Smith, running for a second term, while his own re-election committee has cut off his funds. His lesbian speech write is drafting his concession speech while he pleads with his chief of staff, why, we won the first time. The desperate President who wants to mainly walk away with enough funds for a legacy library, finds himself bartering and betraying his associates to reach his own ends. Amid the biggest fight of his political career, the President has to find time to pardon a couple of turkeys, saving them from slaughter before Thanksgiving and this simple PR event inspires Smith to risk it all in an attempt to win back public support. Director Michael McCarty casts these five roles splendidly. The awesome and authentic Oval Office set is recreated here by talented set designer, Ted Talunian.

Mike obtains fantastic performances as he directs them with a deft hand, making them really delve into their characters. Bill Roberts commands the stage as this bigger than life president. He runs roughshod over one and all while dropping F bombs everywhere. Bill's comic delivery of his enormous amount of dialogue is perfect. He won many laugh all during the show. His phone conversations are realistic as he bounces from one person to the next but is hilarious at the same time. His underhanded behavior on how to garner 200 million dollars by pardoning the turkeys is a laugh out loud moment as he schemes and figures out how to do it. Bill delivers a tour de force performance of this Donald Trump like character who was written back in 2008 before he appeared on the political horizon.

The rest of the cast lives up to the high standards set forth by Bill. His chief of staff, Archer is marvelously played by Dan Powers. He is very droll and matter of fact while issuing orders to the president. Dan captures the essence of this character superbly, delivering a well rounded and stunning performance. Kelly Dailey is a hoot as the demanding, hacking and coughing sick, speech writer Bernstein. She is asked to write a speech to win back his supporters. However her demands can't be met, wanting to marry her partner on live TV and that leaves the President to do what he wants to do. She stops the show with hilarity. There is a surprising twist at the end of the show that has to be seen to be believed.Ted Zayka is also very comical as the national representative of the Turkey Manufacturers. He delivers a very likeable character to portray. As he keeps demanding to keep the turkeys warm and let them sniff the president's hand so they won't be frightened. When he blows up at the antics around him is another laugh out loud moment. Rounding out the cast in a fun filled role is Dwight Grackle, the Indian chief who has murder on his mind. Bob Saquet is properly irate as this funny, trash talking Indian who is madder than hell. So for a hilarious look at the political scene in this comedy, be sure to catch "November" to witness astound acting and direction. Bravo on a job very well done.

NOVEMBER (21 October to 6 November)

MMAS, 377 North Main St, Mansfield, MA
1(508)339-2822 or

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide