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In this gripping short play, Mamet combines mercurial intelligence with genuinely Hitchcockian menace. The Cryptogram is a journey back into childhood and the moment of its vanishing--the moment when the sheltering world is suddenly revealed as a place full of dangers. On a night in 1959, a boy is waiting to go on a camping trip with his father. His mother wants him to go to sleep; a family friend is trying to entertain them--or distract them. Out of things as innocuous as a shattered teapot and a ripped blanket, Mamet re-creates a child's terrifying discovery that the grownups are speaking in code, and that that code may never be breakable.
"Daring, dark, complex, brilliant...I suspect in time it will take its place among Mamet's major works."--John Lahr, The New Yorker