Play by David Mamet. The Chicago singles scene is a hotbed of opportity for Danny and his friend Bernie, two red-blooded males playing the mating and dating game. Bars, libraries, beaches - thy'll go anywhere that th women are - the very places frequened by smart girls like Joan and Deborah. Controversial, provocative and bitingly funny, David Mamet's 1974 play Sexual Perversity In Chicago is a play about four young people looking for love.
Original London Production - 1977
Previewed 29 November 1977, Opened 1 December 1977, Closed 14 January 1978 at the Regent Theatre (now demolished)
Presented as a double-bill with Duck Variations. The cast for Sexual Perversity In Chicago featured Stephen Hoye as 'Danny Shapiro', Kenneth Nelson as 'Bernard Litko', Anna Palk as 'Joan Webber' and Glory Annen as 'Deborah Solomon'. The cast for Duck Variations featured Bernard Spear as 'Emil' and Gordon Stearne as 'George'. Both productions directed by Albert Takazuckas with designs by Saul Radomsky and lighting by Joe David.
The Regent Theatre was located in the Euston Road, opposite St Pancras Railway Station.
Original West End Production - 2003
Previewed 3 May, Opened 14 May 2003, Closed 2 August 2003 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)
The cast featured Matthew Perry as 'Danny Shapiro', Minnie Driver as 'Joan Webber', Hank Azaria as 'Bernie Litko' and Kelly Reilly as 'Deborah Solomon'. Directed by Lindsay Posner with designs by Jeremy Herbert, lighting by Nigel Edwards, music by Terry Davies and sound by Matt McKenzie.
Matthew Perry is best known for his Emmy nominated role as 'Chandler Bing' in the hit television comedy series Friends. Oscar nominated Minnie Driver is best known for her film roles in Good Will Hunting and Circle of Friends. Triple Emmy Award winner Hank Azaria provides some of the key voices for the hit animated television series The Simpsons while his film credits include The Birdcage and Quiz Show. Kelly Reilly has appeared on stage in London in a number of productions including The Graduate and The London Cuckolds.
"Fans of Matthew Perry will flock to this 1974 play by America's top playwright David Mamet - and they'll certainly get a glimpse of Chandler's hairy chest and his goofy deadpan persona as an office guy who gets some nookie while his macho buddy (Hank Azaria) doesn't. Dressed in Seventies period costumes, Minnie Driver - playing a sour schoolteacher - looks great but has too little to do. The superb Kelly Reilly as the girl who Perry's character goes to bed with provides one rather exciting nude scene. Other than that, forget it. It's hard to see why this very slight, puzzling play - which lasts just 80 minutes - got picked for such a star-studded line-up. Despite Lindsay Posner's slick production, it's all a bit so-what-ish. The best bits are the scene changes where you get views of Chicago to nostalgic hits from the Seventies." The Daily Express
"David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago gets off to a promising start. We're in a bar: an office worker called Bernie is talking to a colleague, Danny, describing a bizarre sexual encounter. The story has its lurid interest, but what's mostly amusing is the sharply caught dumb dialogue - the non sequiturs, the repetitions, Danny's gormless questions, Bernie's bluster. Then we get a story of sorts. Danny moves in with a girl called Deborah, though he's discouraged from doing so by Bernie and she is warned off men by her domineering friend Joan. Things don't work out, and the last we see of Danny he's back together with Bernie, sizing up girls on the beach. Nothing very momentous there, especially since most of the action unfolds in mere snippets... Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver bring star names to the parts of Bernie and Joan, but hardly star quality; Kelly Reilly is a fetching Deborah; Hank Azaria scores as a funny and fairly alarming Bernie." The Sunday Telegraph
"David Mamet's 80-minute four-hander is one of the funniest, most sophisticated comedies in any language, in spite - no, because - of its characters being so unsophisticated. The ironic point of the title is that the sexual goings-on (and not goings-on) are about as perverse as a game of backgammon... Matthew Perry is big, dim Danny, who wants good sex but can't handle closeness; Hank Azaria is Bernard, who is all weather report but no thunder; Minnie Driver is sexy but forbidding Joan, who does not know she's too prickly to handle; and Kelly Reilly plays the delicious blonde who is adorably muddled, but knows a load of bull when it's really close. Lindsay Posner directs with icy brilliance. A treat." The Sunday Times
"Sexual Perversity In Chicago: very short, very thin, totally forgettable early Mamet. Sex in that windy city, as revealed by two horny men and two emotionally hungry women, might once have been shocking. Not any more. The four-letter words fly, the men get their rocks off, the girls tough it out, but love barely gets a mention... Lindsay Posner's slick production dresses up this shallow piece with a rather spurious glamour, but nothing can disguise its blatant commercialism, which sells tired old smut with big-name stars." The Mail on Sunday
Sexual Perversity In Chicago in London at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre) previewed from 3 May, opened on 14 May 2003 and closed on 2 August 2003.