You all know David Mamet's a conservative now, right? He moved to Santa Monica a while back, came under the influence of a widely respected conservative rabbi and Bush supporter, and in 2008 he wrote his first play from a conservative bent, November, which was a sort of light farce about a Bush-esque President trying to get re-elected that was not exactly uncritical of such a president. Now A.C.T. brings his most recent Broadway work, Race, to the San Francisco stage, and while it takes on the loaded topic of race in America with a curmudgeonly, foul-mouthed, anti-PC cynicism, it doesn't really break any new ground or even say anything particularly enlightening that you haven't already heard on, say, an episode of Law & Order, or similar.

The play is set in a single room, the conference room of a small but successful law firm in an unnamed city. There are four characters, no intermission, and a hefty helping of the sort of brash and "fuck"-laden dialogue Mamet is known for, most famously in Glengarry Glen Ross. The primary protagonists here are the two lawyers who started the firm, one white and one black, and they're joined by two characters who proceed to make their lives difficult over the course of a day: a new female associate, also black (played by Susan Heyward); and a wealthy new client who's just arrived in a desperate moment (ably played by Kevin O'Rourke). The scenario, which Mamet cooked up with the same chess-game calculus as his sexual-harassment indictment Oleanna, starts out simple enough: Famous white man accused of raping black woman goes to a biracial law firm seeking a defense.