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BACK TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD For the fourth time in his career, Peter Riegert is reunited with playwright David Mamet at the star of his new play, The Old Neighborhood [[image- black and white headshot photo of man]] Peter Riegert stars in David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood ________________________ by Jerry Tallmer ________________________ Bobby and Joey are talking. Here is a patch of their conversation: BOBBY: I'm talking about marriage; you asked a question, I'm answering you. You don't want to [expletive] talk about it, we'll talk about something that you like pause JOEY: Tell me. BOBBY: You know what she said? JOEY: No, what. BOBBY: Listen to this: "What are we going to tell the kids?" JOEY: She said that? BOBBY: Yes. "You know," said Peter Riegert, the Bobby of The Old Neighborhood, a triptych of plays that are actually all one play by David Mamet, "sometimes you make a connection with a writer or a piece of material, and there's not much to ask. "I loved David's writing from the start: the fractured thought, interrupted speech, the expletices, the pauses, the 'umms'and 'hmms' and 'uhs'- not just dropped in, but part of the dialogue. The melody of it. Like notes of a chord." For Riegert- who in The Old Neighborhood at the Booth Theatre appears in a Mamet work for the fourth time in two decades- the start had been 21 years ago as innocent, idealistic Danny Shapiro in the New York premiere of Sexual Perversity in Chicago, at the little Cheery Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village. In those days playwright Mamet was very new on the scene, and aspiring actor Riegert was with a "War Babies" improvisational group. "We were working on something as St. Clement's, when Mamet offered us Sexual Perversity. The rest of the company didn't want to do it, for whatever reasons, maybe because David was almost unknown. They turned it down. I thought they were crazy. I felt, well, I've missed my big opportunity. But a few months later, somebody left the cast of Sexual Perversity as it was going into rehearsal, and I auditioned and got it [a company that also included F. Murray Abraham, Jane Anderson and Gina Rogers]." Riegert would thereafter be in Mamet's adaptation of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, in a Mamet one-act play called The Spanish Prisoner, in a lot of plays not by David Mamet, and a lot of movies- notably Crossing Delancey, as that pickle-store guy who wins Amy Irving- and a lot of television. When he was at the Cort this past spring in Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter, it was Riegert's first time back on Broadway in six years. "I didn't think I'd have that long a gap between plays- and here it's two in one year. So you never can tell." The old neighborhood to which Bobby Gould returns in THe Old Neighborhood is that familiar Mamet landscape, Chicago-in particular, Jewish Chicago, the first and longest of the three sub-plays being in fact called The Disappearance of the Jews. In it Bobby and his lifelong boyhood friend Joey (Vincent Guastaferro) conduct a Mamet-style desultory discussion of life, aging, the Nazis, old girlfriends and marriage- Bobby's disintegrating marriage to a shiksa, Joey's fantasies of domestic annihilation. In part two, Jolly- the nickname of 56 WWW.PLAYBILL.COM [[icon- cursor]] PURE THEATRE ONLINE [[Full page ad]] Bloomingdale's invites you to 'Journey On...' ENTER TO WIN* one of three memorable trips to see the musical sensation everyone is talking about. We'll fly you and a guest to one of three great cities for a weekend to experience the wonder and epic magic of RAGTIME. THIS HOLIDAY SEASON GIVE THE GIFT OF "RAGTIME." NEW YORK PREVIEWS BEGIN DECEMBER 26, 1997 AT THE FORD CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS. TO PURCHASE TICKETS Call: 212-307-4100 LOS ANGELES NOW PLAYING AT THE SHUBERT THEATRE. TO PURCHASE TICKETS CALL: 800-447-7400 CHICAGO BEGINS OCTOBER 1998 AT THE FORD CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS. TO PURCHASE TICKETS CALL: 312-902-1500 [[image- RAGTIME THE MUSICAL logo and image]] *No purchase necessary. See stores for Sweepstakes details. Hotel Accommodations courtesy of, in New York: The Waldorf-Astoria; in Chicago: Renaissance Chicago Hotel; in Los Angeles: The Century Plaza Hotel.