Author Topic: David Alan Grier & Kerry Washington Departing David Mamet’s “Race”  (Read 2163 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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from SHADOW AND ACT:

David Alan Grier & Kerry Washington Departing David Mamet’s “Race;” Who Will Replace Them?

By Tambay, on May 10th, 2010

Playbill reports that Dennis Haysbert will make his Broadway debut in David Mamet’s legal drama Race, beginning June 23, when he’ll be taking over for David Alan Grier, who will be leaving the show on June 13th.

Also, departing will be 2 of the shows other cast members, Kerry Washington on June 13th as well, and David Spader on June 20th.

Richard Thomas will be the only cast member to remain with the production, during its extended run through August 21st.

So, who will replace Kerry Washington?

First, I saw the play, and can’t immediately picture Dennis Haysbert in the role originated by David Alan Grier. The character, an attorney, is quite rambunctious, and physically and emotionally stirred – at least that’s how Grier plays him. Haysbert, if you’ve seen any of his work, leans more towards the cool, courteous and sedate. Maybe I just haven’t seen him be fiery on film or TV. After all, he is an actor, right? So, he should be able to emote as required. Or maybe he’ll make the character his own, and play him altogether differently.

I’ve already seen the play once, and don’t plan on seeing it again, at $120+ per ticket, so I won’t be able to check out Haysbert’s performance.

As for who should replace Kerry Washington…? Depends on whether Mamet will go the Hollywood route again, and pick a black TV/Film actress, or give the role to a stage-specific performer. And if he does go Hollywood (likely, given his casting choices for the other roles in the play), which fairly well-known young, black actresses will get looks? It’s a short list. The only name that comes to me right away is Sanaa Lathan, if only because she recently wrapped up performances in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof on London’s West End, and does have other stage credits. Although, she’s 6 years older than Washington, and the character is supposed to be a young apprentice – likely in their late 20s, early 30s.

Who else with that criteria might be up for the challenge that is a live theatre performance, or who already has some experience and can readily fill the role?


Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Who else with that criteria might be up for the challenge that is a live theatre performance, or who already has some experience and can readily fill the role?

This kind of question always kills me. There are so many talented actors looking for a chance to shine.
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Offline Catch22

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Haysbert, if you’ve seen any of his work, leans more towards the cool, courteous and sedate. Maybe I just haven’t seen him be fiery on film or TV.

Obviously, this reviewer has never seen The Unit or 24. 

Offline Princesa

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There are no shortages of actresses for the part: Regina Hall, Sharon Leal, one of the Mowry twins, Melonie Diaz, Gabrielle Union, Jurnee Smollett, Gabourey Sidibi...