The instant I saw that Patti LuPone and Debra Winger would be on stage together in a David Mamet play, The Anarchist, I knew I'd make every attempt to see the show. It's the sort of thing that I find irresistible about the stage: the chance to see gifted actors perform in person.
I'd seen Patti Lupone in a Broadway show, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," and in a cabaret performance at 54Below, but this was the first time for a straight play, no music. And I've loved Debra Winger for years as a screen actress, but had never seen her on stage at all. So, from my perspective, this was perfect: just these two talented women, in a tension-filled one act, one room, one conversation standoff, sparring with words and body language only. Mamet's writing is never soft or easy...and this was no exception. The play is about a woman in prison (LuPone), for a long ago bombing during the 60s, who is up for parole, and defiantly pleading her case to the warden (Winger) who must rule on her fitness. It wasn't a great play, and closed early due to less-than-positive reviews. But I did appreciate the performances, and thought the chemistry between Patti and Debra worked well.
I didn't hold out a great deal of hope for the stage door because I wasn't sure whether they'd want to sign on a raw December day, but I took my chances, and was helped out by the frigid temperatures and the light audience. Both Patti and Debra were gracious and kind, and took time to sign and exchange greetings with everyone who had waited. Patti was fine with having photos taken of her, but did not pause for them, or pose with fans. Debra was willing to pose with fans, but was in somewhat of a rush and the photo had to be quick. So my photos are not the best, but as is always my priority, I was glad to have the chance to say thanks for the performance to each of them in person, and they couldn't have been nicer in return!
Patti in conversation with a friend before greeting fans
Debra was such a good sport about taking photos!
Stage Door Tales
Every stage door has a story.