Wickedly funny, impeccably plotted and characteristically dry, David Mamet's tale of two women living together in a lesbian relationship on society's fringes is brought to life in STURDY BEGGARS' new production of BOSTON MARRIAGE.
Intimately staged at the Pacific Playhouse STURDY BEGGARS' production draws the audience into the wickedly funny world of these two scheming and bantering turn-of-the-century women who have lived together in a lesbian relationship.
As the play opens, we see their "Boston marriage" on the edge of disintegration. These women delight in torturing each other, their lovers, their friends, and not least, their maid Catherine, whose name or nationality they constantly fail to recall.
The couple live on the periphery of high-class society, a world from which they both crave acceptance despite their unorthodox lifestyle. Anna has recently taken on a wealthy lover from whom she has received an enormous emerald and an income to match. Claire on the other hand has recently become smitten with a young woman and wants Anna to help her in her tryst.
As the two women exchange retorts and take turns taunting the maid, Claire's young object of desire appears, setting off a crisis that puts both the emerald and the women's futures at risk.
After widespread belief that Mamet could only write for men, the playwright released this play, which centres exclusively on female relationships. A "Boston marriage" was a romantic friendship between two unmarried women in long-term union sharing a household during the Victorian era. This relationship offered women of a certain class a socially acceptable alternative to traditional marriage. The term "Boston marriage" came to be used after Henry James' book 'The Bostonians' (1886) which detailed a marriage-like relationship between two women.
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to allow legal same-sex marriages, which makes Boston the only major city in the U.S. where a "Boston marriage" can also be a legal marriage.