Old David Mamet News

January 24, 1999: A couple of items today to put on your plate. First up, on the new book front, Amazon.com is now also listing two more upcoming Mamet books. Jafsie and John Henry; Essays, due to be released in April 1999, and Bar Mitzvah, also to be released this April. Along with The Chinaman: Poems and On Acting, that makes a whopping four books by Mamet to be released this year, three of them in April! Start saving your allowance now! (Thanks, John Green and Ben Hauck!)

There are also a couple of upcoming productions to tell you about. I mentioned the first one before, but I want to remind you since I moved it to the Old News page a while back. Theater J in Washington, D.C. will be presenting The Old Neighborhood from February 13 to March 7, 1999. The press release is the latest addition to the Museum. (Thanks, Blee!)

The second is a student production, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, directed by Boston Conservatory student Patrick Frankfort. There are going to be two performances, March 9th at 8:00pm and March 10th at 4:00pm at the Conservatory's studio theater. Check them out if you're in town! (Thanks, Patrick!)

January 9, 1999: Happy New Year, everybody! This is my first update of 1999, and here's wishing the best to all of you! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who frequent the page and all those who have been kind enough to send me various Mamet information during the three years or so that I have been operating this page. Here's hoping that '99 brings us even more Mamet-related goodness!

On the book front, while Amazon.com has had his On Acting book listed for quite some time for release in 1999, they have just added a new upcoming Mamet book called The Chinaman: Poems, due to be released this April. Both titles have been added to the Shopping Mall. Pre-order them both now! (Thanks again, Ben Hauck!)

Also, I added a new section to the Bibliography page, with a separate listing for the seven movies that Mamet directed. New additions to that ever-growing list include the two previously mentioned books and a new screenplay titled Lansky. It is an upcoming TV movie about the famous Jewish gangster, Meyer Lansky.

Finally, I want to mention that I still get the occasional e-mail every now and then from someone wanting to contact David Mamet directly. For that, I would like to reiterate that I have had no contact with him, and I am unable to help those looking to do so. Please see my disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more information.

December 26, 1998: Variety, the Hollywood industry newspaper, reports that Mamet will script a future movie called Payback. Not to be confused with the upcoming film of the same name starring Mel Gibson, you can read the story in the Museum, or you can click here. (Thanks, Lis Guiney!)

Ronin, the Mamet co-scripted film starring Robert De Niro, is slated for a special edition DVD release on February 23, 1999. Among other great features, it will include a commentary track by director John Frankenheimer. Maybe he'll discuss the circumstances that arose that forced Mamet to use a pseudonym when taking credit on the film.

I added the 1994 Mamet one-act play, No One Will Be Immune, to the Bibliography page. (Thanks, John Warthen!)

In order to help some of you find out more quickly when I last updated the page, I have included the date of the last news update in red text in the bottom frame, right below the index of links. I hope that helps those of you who don't want to scroll through loads of text just to find out that I still haven't updated the news. And if you've been cursing my name under your breath every time that happens, well, I forgive you! :)

November 29, 1998: Dan Blackley just let me know that he will be directing a production of The Shawl at California State University, Los Angeles for his thesis in January.

November 17, 1998: Lisa Jakubowski just informed me that she will be directing a student production of Disappearance of the Jews on November 23rd at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro.

November 16, 1998: Jon Gibson, editor of the Digital Bayou passed on the news that the VHS release of American Buffalo has just gone sell-through, with a new retail price of $14.95 ($12.99 through the Mamet Mall). Buy it today!

October 20, 1998: From Ben Hauck comes this report of controversy on the campus of Otterbein College. Apparently the students were all set to perform Mamet's Edmond, when some African-American students decided that the play was racist, and demanded that the production be stopped. The threat of violence was real enough for the school to change their plans for the production. Read all about it here. The article is also available through the Museum.

I also added song listings and an unpublished play to the bibliography page. Mamet has written many songs that are on Rebecca Pidgeon (his wife) solo albums. To see what he's written for and with her, click here. (Thanks again, Ben!)

October 11, 1998: Updated the prices on some titles in the Shopping Mall. Also added The Spanish Prisoner, now available on DVD!

October 9, 1998: This could be big news if it comes to fruition... Norman Lear, creator of the hit 1970's sitcom, "All in the Family," wants Mamet to write and direct a big-screen version of the show, with Carroll O'Connor reprising his now famous role as Archie Bunker. The New York Post reported this possibility in its Monday, October 5 edition. For those who don't have access to the newspaper, I have transcribed the article, and it's available here. It's also available from the Museum.

My opinion: The movie, regardless of who writes and directs it, should do big business. The sitcom is a veritable classic, but unfortunately any movie version will most likely be considered inferior to the show, whether those criticisms are warranted or not. I'm sure Mamet would do a fabulous job on the script, and I'd love to see how he would write Archie Bunker, who by now is easily one of the more revered television and cultural icons in America today. Let's keep our fingers crossed on this one!

October 4, 1998: I think I've finally uncovered the truth as to why Mamet used a pseudonym (Richard Weisz) when it came to writing the script for Ronin, new Robert De Niro film. Apparently, Mamet doesn't use his real name when it comes to doing rewrites for scripts, and since J.D. Zeik (who got co-writing credit on Ronin) already had come up with the story, Mamet didn't want his real name on it.

And on a related note, I added the links for Ronin and the Sean Connery/Wesley Snipes film, Rising Sun to the Bibliography page. Rising Sun appears to be a similar situation to Ronin, in that Mamet is uncredited because he didn't work on the original story.

I have also added a disclaimer to the feedback section (see bottom of the page). I have added this because I still get many e-mails from people trying to contact Mamet. I have not, nor have I ever, been in contact with him, and I am currently unable to help those trying to reach him. Sorry.

September 27, 1998: I have a few items of note for this first update in over a month. First of all, the Robert De Niro action film, Ronin, was released this past Friday. If you look closely, you'll notice one of the co-writers is Richard Weisz. Due to a disagreement with the WGA (Writer's Guild of America), Mamet was forced to don a psuedonym rather than be properly credited for the script. That's right... David Mamet actually wrote Ronin. I don't know the exact reasoning behind the disagreement, so if you have some inside info, drop me a line and we'll try to sort this whole sordid mess out. Well maybe that's overstating matters a bit. :) If you remember, Mamet had a similar disagreement with the WGA on his recent screenplay, Wag The Dog, where he was apparently forced to share credit with Hilary Henkin. I haven't seen Ronin yet, but so far reviews have been lukewarm, at best.

Secondly, Tony Bray over at TVNow told me that they list a monthly TV schedule of Mamet-related broadcasts at http://www.tv-now.com/stars/mamet.html. This link will always be right underneath the news header from now on, so you can always keep up to date, even if I'm not! :)

Next up, thanks go out to Buzz for letting me know about some interviews Mamet and Steve Martin gave for NPR (National Public Radio). They are available on-line in RealAudio format. Click here if you have a 28.8 modem, and here if you have an ISDN/56K or faster connection. These links can also be found in the museum. (n.b. - These files are not stored locally. If the files suddenly become unavailable, please let me know, so I can update or remove the links as necessary.)

And last, but certainly not least on the news front, Drew let me know that Mamet's latest play, The Old Neighborhood will be playing from February 7, 1999 to March 7, 1999 at Theater J in Washington, D.C. The theater is located in the D.C. Jewish Community Center. If you live in the area or missed out on your chance to see it on Broadway in New York City (and are willing to travel!) be sure to make plans to check it out!

August 22, 1998: Movie studio Columbia/TriStar has announced the DVD release of The Spanish Prisoner. It will hit the streets on October 6, 1998!

August 13, 1998: From Ben Weiner comes the news that David Mamet will be teaching an American Literature course at the New Jewish High School of Greater Boston for the upcoming 1998-99 school year. So all you Boston area High School students, get those transfer papers ready! Thanks, Ben!

August 2, 1998: Sorry it took me so long to get the site updated, but sometimes the real world and all of its responsibilities call. Here's what I've got for you: four, count 'em, four new articles added to the Mamet Museum. These include an interview, a review of Three Uses of the Knife, a general article from the U.K., and a thesis paper that the author, Josh Bushinsky, was kind enough to submit.

As far as actual news goes, Wag the Dog hit the DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) market last week. That makes it the first Mamet-written film to make it to the new home-video format. If you don't know what DVD is, it stores a complete movie (and more!) on a single disc the size of a regular audio CD. Much, much better than VHS! (Go to the DVD Resource Page for more info on the new format.) What is of note, however, is that on this disc is a short interview with actor William H. Macy specifically on the topic of Mamet. It's only about seven minutes long, but it's still interesting regardless. Go check it out if you can.

June 24, 1998: No news to report, unfortunately, but I do have an announcement to make. While I appreciate all the comments and questions that come my way from people looking for help on various Mamet-related topics, I have found that the majority of my e-mail from this page is from people looking to personally contact David Mamet. I have never had any personal contact with him, and I am unable to help anyone out there wanting to contact him. I have heard that he does indeed know of the existance of this page, but I am under the impression that he has no direct Internet access, nor does he have an e-mail address. So while I genuinely appreciate all the time taken out of your lives to send your inquiries, I must ask that you no longer waste that precious time asking me how to contact him, because I can't be of any help. Sorry.

April 18, 1998: The David Mamet Shopping Mall has replaced the Bookstore. Through my new affiliation with Reel.com, I have now added the option of purchasing movies that Mamet has either written or directed. They not only sell the movies in all formats (VHS, LD, DVD), but also have a 7-day rental option as well! The new link to the Shopping Mall can be found in the lower navigation frame. If you have previously bookmarked the Bookstore, you can update the link manually by changing "mamet-bookstore.html" to "mamet-mall.html."

And for anyone wondering why I don't have any links to other Mamet-related material, the fact of the matter is that the web is such a volatile entity, that I don't want to have to keep checking every now and again just to see if the links that I would provide still lead to active pages. Plus, I have so much stuff here, that hopefully you wouldn't want (or have) to look elsewhere to find what you're looking for. Anyway, if you want to find out what other Mamet-related stuff there is out there other than this page, use my Search Page to find what you're looking for. It's a form with links to every major search engine on the web. Also, the IMDB entry for David Mamet has links to some video interviews with Mamet on the web that are too big for me to store locally.

April 14, 1998: The first video file has been added to the DMIP! After checking out the Internet Movie Database entry for David Mamet, I found a link to this funny file in which Mamet himself explains his disdain for the Internet. No wonder I haven't been able to get his official stamp of approval on the site! For the record, this file is 1.1M in size, 17.25 seconds in duration, and is in QuickTime (.mov) format. This file will always be directly available from the The David Mamet Museum, even when the link disappears from this main page. More to come!

April 13, 1998: Just got back from seeing David Mamet's latest directorial effort, The Spanish Prisoner. I really don't want to give too much away, since it's really intricate in its plot, but I can liken it to at least one recent blockbuster film, The Game, starring Michael Douglas. All told, they're really actually very different movies, but the storyline for the most part is similar. It's in limited release right now, so you might have a tough time finding it playing near you, but if you do find it, by all means go! If you can't get to a showing near you, here's a link to Sony Pictures Classics' official site for the film. It's chock full of goodies, including pictures, a synopsis, and an interview with the master himself. Take it from a Mamet freak (I did create this site, you know!), he has never been as on top of his game as he is with The Spanish Prisoner.

April 9, 1998: Added another article to the The David Mamet Museum. Thanks go out to Ralph Cota for the tip!

April 4, 1998: Welcome to the new location of the David Mamet Info Page! I had to switch Internet Service Providers from AT&T WorldNet to MindSpring since AT&T decided to eliminate unlimited monthly access. With this new MindSpring account comes a whopping 10 MB of storage space, so you will definitely see many improvements and additions to the DMIP in the coming weeks! I plan on adding more sound clips, some video clips, and possibly, just possibly, a full-length, unproduced David Mamet screenplay! Keep this hush-hush though, as I don't want "The Man" holding me down before I even get a chance to put the script up! As for now, all I've done so far is reorganize this front page to make it a little easier to navigate, as well as add four new articles to the The David Mamet Museum, including a new one from the April 6th issue of Time Magazine. Thanks go out to long-time DMIP tipster John Green for the Time article. Also note my new e-mail addresses. My new MindSpring account also comes with 2 mailboxes, so I should hopefully be able to respond to DMIP-related e-mail much faster than before. For all personal e-mail, I can be reached at jason-charnick@mindspring.com. For all DMIP-related inquiries and comments, please e-mail me at dmip@upstartfilmcollective.com. So please update your bookmarks, and be sure to keep your eyes right here for all the latest in David Mamet news and Internet multimedia! Thanks a lot for putting up with the move.

December 13, 1997: I guess the New Yorker does have a web page after all! Thanks again go out to Phil Taussky, who provided me with a link to an excerpt from "Fortress Mamet," that 15-page mammoth feature on David Mamet in the New Yorker. I hope to get the full article added to the David Mamet Museum someday, but until then you can read the first few paragraphs here. By the way, to get to the New Yorker web page, click here.

November 30, 1997: The "Articles" section of the David Mamet Museum triples in size! Special thanks go out to John Green and old friend Phil Taussky for providing with the links where I got a hold of these articles. And for those of you who have e-mailed to tell me about the feature article on David Mamet in the November 17, 1997 issue of the New Yorker magazine, thanks for letting me know. I have read it (all 15 pages!) and as much as I would love to add it to the museum, I don't have a scanner to get it into my computer, and I haven't found the article on-line, as I don't think the New Yorker has a web site. If you can help in getting me an electronic copy of the article (and the choice pix, too!), please drop me a line at jason-charnick@mindspring.com, so I can add this great article to the DMIP.

November 17, 1997: There's a new addition to the David Mamet Museum! There was a feature article yesterday in The New York Times on Mamet and his current and future projects, written by Bruce Weber. It is a highly informative and interesting piece that includes a brand new up-to-date picture of the man (and in full-color too!). I highly recommend checking it out through the museum, or if you're really impatient, you can reach it directly by clicking here. Enjoy!

November 16, 1997: Kate Blumberg, a member of the Atlantic Theater Company, which David Mamet started, let me know that the company will be hosting a "live talk" with Mamet and Michael Feingold today as he discusses his new book. The event takes place on tonight at 8pm at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York. Tickets are $50 and there will be a cocktail party after the discussion. For tickets, please call (212) 691-5919. Other than that, there are mainly just corrections and additions on the bibliography page. I added True and False and Three Uses of the Knife (books on acting) to the non-fiction list, The Old Religion to the fiction list, and An Interview to the plays list. Many thanks go out to Nathan Wyman, Derek Dreyer, and another anonymous source for all this info. Also, to clear up some confusion... in the Mamet Multiplex, none of the reviews were written by me. The shorter blurbs are written by Leonard Maltin, of Entertainment Tonight fame, and the longer ones were written by Roger Ebert, of Siskel and Ebert fame. I also moved all the news items prior to August 13, 1997 to the old news page. And for all of you in the greater Boston area, don't forget the Mamet reading in Cambridge today!

>October 26, 1997: News Update!!! On Wednesday, November 12 at 5:30pm, WordsWorth will be holding a public reading by David Mamet from his new novel at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From their web site: "WordsWorth Readings are held at the Brattle Theater (40 Brattle Street). Admission to the readings is FREE, but tickets are necessary. Tickets are available two weeks prior to each event. We collect canned goods for the Cambridge Food Pantry Network on the night of the readings. There is an autographing immediately following most readings. For information call (617) 354-5201." Sounds like a really great opportunity, folks! I'd be there, but alas, school comes first, unfortunately. If you get a chance to go, drop me a line at dmip@upstartfilmcollective.com, and let me know how it went! Thanks, Scott Haas, for the scoop!

August 21, 1997: Wow, I actually have a news update for the first time in over a month! While checking out the Bravo site, (you know, the cable channel) I came across their schedule for September, and discovered that they will be showing a special on David Mamet, as well as the film version of Oleanna. Here is the complete schedule of showings: Oleanna is showing on Wednesday, September 3 at 11pm, Thursday, September 4 at 11am & 5:30pm, Monday, September 15 at 5pm, Tuesday, September 16 at 11am, and Thursday, September 25 at 11am, 8pm & 2am. The David Mamet special is showing Sunday, September 21 at 8pm & 1am, and Thursday, September 25 at 7pm and 4am. I suppose that since it's so far ahead in the future, that the schedule might be subject to change without notice, but hopefully these particular dates won't change. So set your VCR's now!

August 13, 1997: Big changes and additions to the DMIP! I wish I could say I had some breaking news, but the big changes involve the expansion of the DMIP to include the all new, David Mamet Multiplex. Here you can find pictures, reviews, and a few small sound clips from Mamet's major film works. All links to movies that are also featured in the multiplex have been switched to those pages. The links to their Internet Movie Database pages can now be found on their movie pages. I have also changed the introduction to add some more stuff, and added a new picture of Mamet to the main page. In addition, I have switched quotes here on the main page, and the old quotes can be found here. You might notice that the new quotes are from two of Mamet's screenplays. That's because on a recent trip to Boston, Massachusetts, I picked up a couple of scripts at Pix Poster Cellar in Cambridge. Check out their site! If I ever get a hold of a scanner again, I might try to make both complete scripts available on-line. I have added a new sound to the David Mamet Museum. No spoilers, here, check the page out to find out what movie it's from! I have also archived all the news from May and June to the old news page, and switched the background texture. Enough for ya?

July 26, 1997: Thanks to an anonymous tip, I made some changes to the bibliography page. For the most part, a few titles were just moved to their appropriate sections. I created a new section entitled 'Children's Books' and added The Owl to it. I also added The Edge, The Spanish Prisoner, and State and Maine to the screenplay section. The Edge used to have the working title of Bookworm. It stars Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, and Elle MacPherson. It opens on September 26, 1997, and looks very good. I'll be in the theater on opening night. Will you?

July 13, 1997: The news items prior to May 27, 1997 have been moved to the old news page, which can be accessed by clicking here. I have now separated the news and miscellaneous sections. The miscellaneous info can still be accessed on this page. Just scroll down a little bit more!

Phil C., the lucky 1,000th visitor to the DMIP (congratulations, by the way!), let me know that David Mamet gave a reading of his own poetry at the Art Institute of Chicago. I went looking for an article to chronicle his appearance, but all I found was a little blurb mentioning it. There were some other juicy bits of news though, courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times: "[David] Mamet revealed his next movie will be titled Spanish Prisoner, based on an old con game. He'll also direct the film, which will star his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Steve Martin. He's also working on another movie, to star Whoopi Goldberg and his wife." Now while I found no info on The Spanish Prisoner in the Internet Movie Database other how how to vote for it, a quick search found that the Whoopi Goldberg project might very well be State and Maine, which also stars Chevy Chase as well as Mamet favorite and star of Fargo, William H. Macy.

June 16, 1997: New at the DMIP: In association with the great folks at Amazon.com, I have added the David Mamet Bookstore! For the first time ever, you can buy all your favorite David Mamet-related books right here! Here's hoping it'll be a great success!

June 15, 1997: Since the page has been getting longer and longer as more news gets added and since I have been choosing long quotes lately, I have decided to add a frame to the bottom of the page giving readers easy access to each of the eight sections of the DMIP. If your browser is not frame-compatible (which these days is quite rare) simply click on the link that is given and you'll get the same old DMIP you've all come to know and love. If you don't like the new frame-enabled look, please be sure to let me know at dmip@upstartfilmcollective.com. If there are enough negative opinions, I will go back to the original look. Also, if you're the 1,000 access to the page be sure to let me know (don't forget to send a screenshot!) so I can give you credit right here on the page and so I can send you a special gift!

May 31, 1997: From Drew Feinberg, 800th visitor to the DMIP, and more importantly, proprietor of the world-reknowned Drew's Script-O-Rama (visit it today!!!) Thanks a lot, Drew!!! Keep up the great work!!!

PLAYWRIGHTS DRAW ON 2000 FOR ABC PROJECT - From Tribune Wires - Web-posted Saturday, May 31, 1997; 6:02 a.m. CDT - ABC has commissioned a roster of the most famous playwrights in the United States -- including Neil Simon, Arthur Miller, DAVID MAMET, Wendy Wasserstein and August Wilson -- to create original plays that will draw on the theme of the coming millennium, the network has announced.

Grouped under the title "The Millennium Project," the plays, to be produced under the aegis of Hallmark Entertainment, are to appear on ABC during one week in November 1999.

The scheduling is certainly a statement about ABC's confidence that the plays will attract significant audiences: That's the last ratings sweep month before the year 2000.

The other playwrights signed for the project are John Guare, Larry Gelbart, Terrence McNally, Steve Martin and Elaine May.

Hallmark Entertainment chairman Robert Halmi said the company came up with the notion of approaching the playwrights after thinking about "how all the major media was preparing for the millennium, from books to poetry to painting." He said, "I thought the best way to get a presence was to get the very best playwrights in America to write what they think the year 2000 means."

Each writer is expected to create a work that deals with issues relating to the end of the millennium. (It technically ends Dec. 31, 2000.) The plays will vary in length.

Halmi said every one of the playwrights approached was immediately excited about the project. "We told them: `We're not going to tell you what to do; we're not going to edit you.' And, of course, they were all going to be well paid."

Barbara Lieberman, the senior vice president for movies at ABC, and Halmi said they expected the impressive roster of authors to attract a similar all-star lineup of actors and producers to the project.

"We've already had calls from some big names," Halmi said. "They all want to be associated with quality, and this is going to be quality."

May 27, 1997: Now that I've graduated from Boston University, and now that the DMIP has its new home at AT&T WorldNet, I will hopefully be giving the page more regular updates. The news section won't be updated as much depending on what info I get, but I will try to change the quotes section to keep things as fresh as possible. I will move the old quotes to their own page, so you new readers can catch up on what you've missed.

Also of note is the fact that The Old Neighborhood made its U.S. debut up in Boston a few weeks ago. I wish I had gotten to see it, but it was too expensive and it was finals time. It was a collection of three short plays, one of which starred Tony Shalhoub of Wings fame, as well as last year's Big Night.

One final note of interest: since the page is coming up on its 1,000th access, if you notice that you're that super-special person with hit number 1,000, I would appreciate it if you would e-mail me with a screen shot of the counter (for verification purposes only) so that I could give you credit here on the page. I will even send you a special gift! No joke! :) Just a little thank you from me to all you loyal DMIP readers!

January 10, 1997: First of all, happy new year to all you David Mamet Info Page regulars! You will find that I'm back in my old (new) location with a new (and much faster loading) background. Now onto the news. I still haven't found out what he has to do with the project but the promos for the HBO special "Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants" claim that it is brought to you by David Mamet. I haven't seen the opening of the special, which might solve the mystery, but I have seen most of it, and it is not a play, simply a one-man show of a magician showing his incredible ability to perform sleight-of-hand and fancy card tricks. The end credits, serve no help, and I would really like to know what Mamet has to do with the project. If any of you DMIP readers know what's up, please let me know so that I may post the information here.

October 23, 1996: For all those who have been having trouble downloading the sound files from the David Mamet Museum, I have changed the format of them from .aif files to .wav files. The files are now slighly bigger, and the sound quality might actually be diminished somewhat, but they should hopefully download now with no problems. If you still have difficulty downloading these sound files, please let me know at dmip@upstartfilmcollective.com.

American Buffalo, the movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz, was released on September 13, 1996! I saw it that night and I must say it was wonderful. It stayed very true to the original play with only one bit of dialogue from the original play removed. I'll leave it up to all of you to figure out which one it is! Directed by Michael Corrente and produced by well-known Mamet director and friend Gregory Mosher, go see it at your local theater today!

From the New York Post, Monday June 17, 1996: Joe Eszterhas, writer of Basic Instinct and the controversial Showgirls, is working on a new screenplay in the spirit of both The Player and This Is Spinal Tap, called An Alan Smithee Film. This is where a director is so embarrassed to have worked on a film that he used the fictitious name Alan Smithee instead of his own in the credits. Anyway, David Mamet has a role in the film in which he asks, "Could Sly Stallone talk Mamet? In my mind, he has a God-given gift to talk Mamet."

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