Review: Impromptu Splendor: A Very Mamet Christmas Special (National Theatre of the World)

Phone on the floor. Scattered papers. Empty alcohol bottle on the desk.

The scene onstage at Theatre Passe Muraille this past Sunday resembled something out of a David Mamet play.

It was the end result of a show called Impromptu Splendor, put on by the National Theatre of the World, which spoofs the work of famous playwrights. This month they chose Mr. Mamet.

“When we did Chekhov,” saidNaomi Snieckus, one of the troupe’s three core members, referring to a previous show, “one person said in the audience, ‘Oh, you mean the Star Trek character?’”

Fame is relative, I guess.

But, the audience definitely knew Mr. Mamet.

Asked to call out associations with Mr. Mamet’s work, various members of the audience shouted –

“Sexual perversity!”

“Economics!”

“Losers!”

Fuck,” referring to Mr. Mamet’s penchant to use the F-word in his work.

And, one last one, “Sharks!”

Prompting the title of the improvised work we were about to watch, shaped by the above predilections, Shark, Interrupted. Set, as one audience member suggested, in the office of a board game company.

I cried with laughter, the work was so funny.

Impromptu Splendor stars Matt Baram, Ms. Snieckus, and Ronald Pederson. Ron James guest-starred in A Very Mamet Christmas.

The next installment of Impromptu Splendor is expected early next year, at Theatre Passe Muraille. Usually they’re on stage the Sunday of each month, though this coming January the troupe is scheduled to be on tour. When they’re back, I’d strongly recommend checking it out.