‘A Life in the Theatre’ cut short

The first Broadway production of David Mamet‘s 1977 two-hander “A Life in the Theater” will end its limited engagement five weeks early on Nov. 28. Not even the star power of SIr Ian Stewart and T.R. Knight could overcome the middling reviews from the more notable theater critics for this backstage comedy.

The production opened on Oct. 12, so the 30 members of the Tony nominating committee will have almost seven weeks to see the show. Stewart — who plays the veteran actor struggling to stay on top — was a Best Actor in a Play nominee two years ago for his performance in “Macbeth.” Knight — who plays the rising star who eclipses his mentor — had great success on the New York stage before finding fame on TV’s “Grey Anatomy.”

This is the second consecutive rialto revival of a Mamet play to shutter early. Last year, another of his two-handers, “Oleanna,” lasted just eight weeks on Broadway. Despite generally favorable reviews, that show did not figure in any of the end-of-season awards. 

Photo: Sir Ian Stewart and T.R. Knight in “Life in the Theatre” (Gerald Schoenfeld Theater)

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