David Mamet

All posts tagged David Mamet

Mamet’s Hamlet

Published September 1, 2012 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—


I don’t think V– will be impressed.

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,” bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories. Which is like giving Harry Potter the Fairy Godmother’s Wand. I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.

It’s a brand new school year, full of unrealistic hopes and Lovett’s Pie-in-the-sky dreams. And with any new school year come opportunities of great shame and embarrassment. We call these moments: auditions: where you can embarrass yourself in a room full of people, and never realize it. Of course, these days, I have a hard time distinguishing between theatre audition-ers and Bieber Screamers. However, in order to help the masses, today’s broadcast will center around the audition process.

For all you actor wanna-be’s, think about your name. It’s understandable that you want a cool actor’s name—one with three names. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tommy Lee Jones. Bertolt…Bale…Brahms. However, just because your name is John Jacob Jingelheimer Schmidt does not mean you should put all that down on your audition card. I recently received an email from this John Jacob Jingelheimer Schmidt fellow, who let me know his intention of playing in Richard III by adapting this Shakespearean text into something, which I admit, is much more understandable than Shakespeare’s original. He writes:

Ian McKellen as Richard III

James, Edward, Henry and Richard,

There are so many of you.

When Richard the Third is read,

You all turn up for dead,

He sings James, Edward, Henry and Richard!

(Die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die.)


Yes, folks, this is deadly theater at its roughest. Which is why I decided to bring in a special guest…my good friend Hans Christian Mamet, to give us some idea of how to do Hamlet.

Bert: Hans Christian Mamet, so good to see you.

Hans: Likewise.

Bert: So, Hans. I thought it might be good if you would give us some suggestions on doing Hamlet’s monologue in Act III—the one where he gives advice to the actors. Any initial thoughts before we dive in?

Hans: It’s uh—ya know…

Bert: What?

Hans: A good script.

Bert: Indeed. Ok, let’s dig in. Hamlet starts this by saying, “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly  on the tongue: but if you mouth—“

Hans: Stop.

Bert: What’s the problem?

Hans: The speech. It’s too…

Bert: Too–? Too what? This is Shakespeare, you know.

Hans: I realize. He was a pretty good one. Playwright. I guess.

Bert: So, why’d you stop me?

Hans: No need to continue.

Bert: What?

Hans: Well, it’s too long. Cut it.

Tell us, Hamlet, how you really feel about cutting your monologue.

Bert: Cut Hamlet’s “Speak the speech” monologue?

Hans: Cut it. Just do that part again.

Bert: Ok, I’ll try. Um, “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you—“

Hans. Yeah. Ok.

Bert: What?

Hans: That’s all. All you need. Do it again.

Bert: “Speak the speech—“

Hans: Stop. That’s it. All you need.

Bert: That’s all? Really? Cut down all of that advice to “Speak the speech”?

Hans: Actually, just “speak.”

Three Uses of Mamet’s Knife

Bert: “Speak—“

Hans: Yes. Good. That’s it! Perfect. All you need. Cut the excess.

Bert: Wow, you sure cut that one up and baked the life out of it. I Lovett, Mamet! Again, thank you so much, Hans. We appreciate your input and thoughts on how to approach this classic monologue.


Finally this evening, a small introduction to the next production here at Mother Goose Children’s Theatre. We will be doing Othello: The Prequel. Here is a small sampling.

The thing with Othello:

Iago lies to Othello.

Iago tells lies,

But says that he’s honest,

Which Othello buys.


They all end up dying,

But what’d ya expect?

The story was Shakespeare’s,

We’re not yet to Brecht.


Good night, folks. Sleep as well as you can.


Where the Red Fern Grows

Published December 10, 2011 by Kristin

Brahms’ Lullaby plays, fading into—

Bert: Good evening and welcome to this hour of “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre,”


Sequel soon to be released: "Most Dogs Go To Heaven"

bringing you safe theatre for your bedtime stories. Which is like reading Where the Red Fern Grows to your puppy.

I’m your host, Bertolt Brahms.

First off, tonight, I’d like to announce our upcoming season here at “Mother Goose Children’s Theatre.” I know these plays will delight you in the forthcoming year.

Hey diddle diddle,

Cats, and The Fiddler,

The Buffalo’s Over the Moon,

The Little Mermaid, Proof,

The Cryptogram,

And The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Of course, every season here ends with our own piece, written by myself—Bertolt Brahms—

English: Meryl Streep

"Mother Goose seemed like the natural conclusion after Doubt and Mamma Mia!"

entitled Mother Goose and her Nursery Rhymes. This year’s guest artist will be Meryl Streep starring in the lead role, Mother Goose.

Later this evening, the beloved bedtime story, Peter and the Wolf, as read by Konstantin Stanislavski and Alexander Ivanovich. Afterwards, Stanislavski and Ivanovich will be available for your calls.

But before that…History in Rhyme. Last week we covered the Renaissance. This week, we move into the 1800’s.

Little Actor Horner

Sat in a corner

Drinking his whiskey rye.

He thought he was Booth

Which was rather uncouth

And said, “What a good Hamlet am I!”

On to our Gossip Corner. Last week, I was headed to St. Ives, and I met a man with seven wives. I called him Henry the VIII, to which he took no small offense. I had to admit my error. The man had outdone Henry. Henry only had six wives. I never could seem to remember, as Shakespeare never told me. I went on my way, grateful that I did not need to count the number of kits, cats, sacks, and wives, and also pondering what Shakespeare would do with such modern day characters like this man, Liz Taylor, and Kim Kardashian.

The Halloween script contest results are now in. First place winner goes to Alice for her play entitled “Sweeney Todd in Richard III.” 

As a teaser, I have here the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to read the opening line.

Child Catcher:  “One, Two,

When I say ‘Boo,’

Three, Four,

You’ll see more gore,

Five, six,

Lollipop licks

Seven, eight,

Fingers taste great,

Nine, ten,

Let’s do it again!

Bert: In other news, the writers of the hit television series, “24,” have started a new series for children, called “12.” And instead of the pounding countdown that starts each hour, the episode will begin with—

“Jack be nimble,

Jack be quick,

Jack hit the President

With a heavy brick.”

I’m also pleased to announce that next summer we will be celebrating the Corpus Christi Feast Day with our own live production. It will be outdoors on the green by the parish. Tickets are free, but seating limited. Everyman for himself.

Updates from the playwrights:

Cover of "Three Uses of the Knife"

1) As a prop on stage. 2) As a straight edge when drawing stage designs. 3) As a means of termination of the pain associated with grad students' thesis papers

David Mamet, inspired by the 4thaddition to the Twighlight saga, is coming out with his complete series, Three Uses of the Knife, Four Uses of the Fork, Five Uses of the Spoon, and Stupid Uses of the Spork. You can preorder them now on Amazon.

And now our tongue twister of the day.

Peter Brook picked a peck of problematic plays.

Before our first commercial break, I would like to take this moment to thank our sponsor “King’s Horses and Men: Lifetime Insurance,” who after a lifetime, have finally put Humpty Dumpty back on wall street. We’ll be back after these messages.