March 16, 2006

Twenty Questions for David Mamet

Post Road Magazine has a competition asking for Twenty Questions, which will be sent to whoever is that issue's interviewee. Here are my questions for David Mamet, which he will almost certainly never answer:

I. Why?

II. Tom Stoppard said, if he could, he would learn Russian so he could read Pushkin, & Ancient Greek so he could figure out why the comedies of Aristophanes are "so damned unfunny." Who could you imagine wanting to learn English to read your work?

III. If Victorian Lesbians lived today, would they drink bottled water?

IV. What music is currently in your car stereo? (No cheating.)

V. Some subscribe to the theory that the plays of William Shakespeare were actually written by another man, also named William Shakespeare. What do you suppose that first man was like?

VI. Bill Clinton said his favorite book was One Hundred Years of Solitude. If you were president, what book would you lie & say was your favorite?

VII. Pygmalion or My Fair Lady?

VIII. If, on America’s standardized tests (like the so-called Scholastic Aptitude Test), there was a fifth section which gauged imagination & creativity, what format would it take?

IX. You have to create & produce a high-budget Broadway blockbuster, which, because it can take no risks, must be based on a feel-good movie that a vast middle-aged audience already loves. Then, you sell the rights back to Hollywood to re-make a re-make. Twenty years later, theater majors at a small liberal arts school, who grew up watching the movie & have a love-hate relationship with the cheesiness – for one thing, it had some small part in pushing them towards theater, but they’re totally embarrassed about it – they incorporate ironic references to the film into a subversive work with nudity & too many projections. As the original producer, how do you feel?

X. What next?

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