The most dominating dramatist of the last twenty or so years in this country is surely David Mamet, whose most seen work is probably The Untouchables, but whose outpourings fill shelves and theaters around the country and the English-speaking world.
This domination may or may not be good news who care more about character than plot, because Mamet's characters, although powerfully driven and mysteriously real, tend to blur in the memory.
They do not have the touch of the divine that some writers — such as Shakespeare and Williams — can mysteriously achieve.
But, maybe that's unfair. Maybe it's me. Maybe I just don't like many of Mamet's characters, in plays such as Glengarry Glen Ross or American Buffalo, and perhaps that's my flaw, not his. When I do like his characters, as in my personal fave, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, I like Mamet very much.
Since it came out thirty years ago, I think it's fair to reveal the irony of the title. The perversity is that young people, young couples, can fall in love, and not want to admit it to each other.
Bring that to life and you will have a hit, and yes, this is the play that made Mamet a star.
In that light, I wish he would put his mind to work dramatizing this great anonymous postcard from Postsecret:
When PostSecret is good, it is very very good, and this Valentine's Day it was good.