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Politics Skewered: Mamet’s November at the San Miguel Playhouse

politics skewered --november--photo for poster

By Henry Vermillion

David Mamet is considered by many to be the best living American playwright. He is perhaps best known for plays like Glengarry Glen Ross and Oleanna, and for screenplays like Hoffa and Wag the Dog, which can be tough and dark, but November is hilariously comedic.

The show will open Thursday, November 9, and will run through Sunday, November 19, at the San Miguel Playhouse at Independencia 82, Colonia Independencia. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7pm, and Sundays at 3pm.

This is an outrageously funny evening of theater. It skewers our political system, the PR business, Native American casinos, and overseas adoptions, but surprisingly, the play’s scheming anti-hero, President Charles Smith, comes out as a likeable character.

To be honest, Smith has been a do-nothing President. As Election Day nears, both his chief of staff and his campaign committee have given up on his chances of re-election, but President Chuck isn’t ready to give up yet. The traditional Thanksgiving ritual in which the President pardons a turkey suddenly inspires him to risk it all in a breathtakingly outrageous scheme to grab more badly needed campaign money.

The play is fast-paced, witty, and full of quotable lines. For example, the President says to Clarice Bernstein, his beleaguered speechwriter, “There are no solutions, Bernstein. There are only rearrangements of problems.” In an exchange with his Chief of Staff, Archer, Archer says, “We can’t build the fence to keep out the illegal immigrants.” Charles questions Archer, “Why not?” Archer replies, “You need the immigrants to build the fence.” (This was written before our current president was on the political scene.) Mamet, as always, has a master’s ear for American English as it’s really spoken.

The play is set in the Oval Office. President Charles Smith is played, with craft and aplomb, by Jim Newell. His savvy Chief of Staff is played by Chuck Rubin; Kate Rowland plays the president’s gifted speechwriter; Maggie Bunce is Clan Mother Jennie Lonecloud Grackle, head of the Mic Mac Indian Nation, and Dick Avery plays the Turkey Guy from the National Association of Turkey and Turkey By-Products Manufacturers. The show is co-directed by Henry Vermillion and Maggie Bunce.

November is fun, it’s a romp, it’s scathingly hilarious. “Maniacally funny…It says something that its swift conclusion makes you yearn for a little more,” a critic wrote. Tickets can be purchased at Ensueños Gallery at Mesones 57A, from 10:30am–2pm, except for Tuesdays and Sundays, and online at or at the theater one hour before showtime. As always, the San Miguel Playhouse offers secure parking and concierge taxi service.




Thu, Nov 9–Sun, Nov 19, 10 days

Thu, Fri, and Sat at 7pm

Sun, 3pm

San Miguel Playhouse

Independencia 82, Colonia Independencia





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