The ’80s

Contempo and classic

The 1980s are back in theaters. And no wonder: It’s good business for producers to wait 20 years before reviving a play or musical. This season alone, they brought back “La Cage aux Folles,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Glengarry Glen Ross” and, Off Broadway, “Hurlyburly.”

Is greed back, too? “I don’t tend to think thematically,” says Joe Mantello, director of the “Glengarry Glen Ross” revival. “I love the brutality of the play and its language. You can’t underestimate how David Mamet’s language changed the theater and altered the way playwrights write plays.”

A Bush was re-elected vice president in 1984, shortly after the play preemed on Broadway, and now another is in the White House. “Obviously, you’ve seen our logo: ‘Lie, cheat, steal — all in a day’s work,’ ” says “Glengarry” producer Jeffrey Richards. “You’ve chosen to interpret it differently from what other people might.”

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