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Review of Glengarry Glen Ross

ACT's production of Glengarry was directed with to-the-bone-ferocity by Les Waters. Loy Arcenas’s set was stunning. The bright red booths of the Chinese restaurant of Act 1 were dwarfed by the Geary Theater’s cavernous stage, suggesting the lower regions of Dante’s Inferno and the vulnerability and desperation of the characters trapped therein.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 18.00pt; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.33; ">GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; " class="p2 ">By David Mamet.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; " class="p2 ">American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; " class="p2 ">4 January — 4 February 2001.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; visibility: hidden; " class="p2 "> 

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">    What struck me immediately about ACT’s revival of Palatino-Italic, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.27; ">Glengarry Glen Ross Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; "> was how devastatingly funny the play is. I also realized how much James Foley’s 1992 film version has informed my (and alas my students’) interpretation of Palatino-Italic, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.27; ">Glengarry Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; "> over the years—to, I fear, the play’s detriment. Although there’s much to praise about that film, it lacks the to-the-bone-ferocity of its progenitor, which ACT’s production, briskly directed by Les Waters, captured wonderfully.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">    Loy Arcenas’s set was stunning. The bright red booths of the Chinese restaurant of Act 1 were dwarfed by the Geary Theater’s cavernous stage, suggesting the lower regions of Dante’s Palatino-Italic, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.27; ">Inferno Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; "> and the vulnerability and desperation of the characters trapped therein. The restaurant’s dangling, decorative, postmodern lights of Act 1 gave off the metallic glare of an interrogation room in Act 2, as the subtly lit scenes of seduction were replaced by the detritus of the office break-in.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">The cast was uniformly strong. Roma (Marco Barricelli), sporting a pompadour borrowed from Palatino-Italic, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.27; ">The Sopranos Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">, served as a troubling foil to the physically slighter, more Vulnerable Levene (Tony Amendola). A chubby John Apicella played Moss, perhaps the sleaziest of all the salesmen, as a conniving cherub, while Matt Gottlieb’s Aaranow always seemed one step behind his less ethical, more verbally acute, colleagues. Rod Gnapp’s waspish Williamson was a company man with dot.com energy—immediately recognizable to the Bay Area’s audience.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">    The first act’s three seduction scenes were brilliantly performed. As a desperate Levene begged an unsympathetic Williamson, his tone grew increasingly anxious and anxiety producing. Moss’s seemingly effective semantic entrapment of Aaranow, culminating in the black humor of the latter’s complicity because he “listened,” brought gasps from the audience. So did Roma’s verbal seduction of the feckless Lingk, which was made all the more threatening by the salesman’s almost imperceptible slithering over the shiny naughahyde seats, getting closer and closer to his victim and to the “kill” which ends the first act— driving the audience, the Palatino-Italic, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.27; ">San Francisco Chronicle Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; "> reported, to the theater bar “in record numbers” during intermission.

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; ">Throughout the play, the audience fluctuated between laughter and horror. At the final curtain, it sat stunned as Roma spat out his demand for Shelley’s leads as his mentor was led off to certain ruin. A merciless examination of capitalism run amok, Palatino-Italic, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.27; ">Glengarry Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; "> remains a timely and profoundly powerful play, one served admirably by this production.

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Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; " class="p2 ">STEPHANIE TUCKER

Palatino-Roman, 'Palatino'; font-size: 11.00pt; line-height: 1.27; " class="p2 ">CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SACRAMENTO