Pinch ‘n’ Out of Hand announce new shows

Preparing to play Musical Chairs and Speed-the-Plow.

Two of Atlanta’s hip young theater companies have announced their next shows. First, Out of Hand Theater will be staging a show called Musical Chairs in Woodruff Park Jan. 27 and 28. Musical Chairs is part of Off the Edge, a weeklong festival of cutting-edge performance presented by Georgia State’s Rialto Center, Kennesaw State University, and gloATL.

Meanwhile, Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre plans to open its 2012 season with David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, to be performed April 6-29 in the 100-set venue in the basement of Druid Hills Baptist Church at Highlands and Ponce de Leon. Incidentally, I never knew the origin of the title until now: in 1989 Mamet told an interviewer, “I remembered the saying that you see on a lot of old plates and mugs: ‘Industry produces wealth, God speed the plow.’ This, I knew, was a play about work and about the end of the world, so ‘Speed-the-Plow’ was perfect because not only did it mean work, it meant having to plow under and start over again.”

Ironically, the Broadway productions of Mamet’s Hollywood satire were twice upstaged by celebrity. The 2008 Broadway revival made headlines for Jeremy Piven’s withdrawal from the show, claiming food poisoning. The Broadway premiere in 1988 drew more attention for Madonna’s stage acting debut than the actual text of the show, as evidenced by these 1988 clips from “Entertainment Tonight:”