Picking up on the theme of making merry of Mamet, here’s scene seven from my play The Rough Guide to the Underworld, featuring a more specific parody. It’s set in a bar in the Underworld, the Tenth Circle…

Sexual Perversity Inferno

The play itself started life as a series of monologues, then expanded into a set of sketches. That was the plan. A revue. Until the characters began to drift from sketch to sketch and interact with one another. Suddenly, there was a story, a throughline, several tales woven in and out of each other.

(left to right) Matthew Wilson, Kevin Pierson, Bob Rogerson, Laura C. Harris and Gillian Shelly in The Rough Guide to the Underworld, at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Washington D.C., June/July 2009.

This particular thread involves a writer named Dante (no relation) and a film producer named Bobby. Of course, Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow features a film producer named Bobby. What’s not as well known is his one-act follow-up, Bobby Gould in Hell. Add to that the fact that the first scene of Sexual Perversity in Chicago is a dialogue between Bernie and Danny. You can probably see where I connected the dots.

So the first minute of this scene is an almost direct parody of the first scene from Sexual Perversity in Chicago, except it goes off into film production instead of sexual conquests. From there, it spins into its own weird little story…

As for the scene title, all of the scenes in The Rough Guide to the Underworld have titles, which can be projected above/behind the action if so desired. In this case, the title isn’t so much a spoiler as a heads-up for Mamet jokes. There’s a different title in here that’s a spoiler. But I’m not going to spoil that part.

If you’d like to purchase a Kindle edition of the play, here you go.