by Byron Woods
Our complete review of the Deep Dish Theater production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross will run in next week’s Independent. But for a show deserving a five-star review—only the paper’s 11th since 2003—a little advance warning seems entirely in order. Our advice is get your tickets now: They might be a little harder to come by on Wednesday. Deep Dish’s box office phone number is 968-1515.
In the meantime, just a little reading material while you’re waiting on hold…
Here’s the picture—and it’s not a pretty one. In the U.S., unemployment is skyrocketing; its peak, at over 16 percent, represents the highest level since the Great Depression. Credit is tight and home sales are tanking. Over a year passes before the President uses the r-word—recession—and admits that the economy is in significant trouble.
But the year is 1982, not 2009. The president is Ronald Reagan. And in Chicago, David Mamet is writing a play about a quartet of desperate real estate salesmen facing a real squeeze play of a sales contest—one that will put two of them on the street at the end of the month.
First prize is a Cadillac. Second’s a set of steak knives.
Third prize? You’re fired.
Those are the stakes in Glengarry Glen Ross, a scuzzy, profane—and frequently hilarious—profile of office politics with the gloves decidedly off, in a time a bit too close to our own for comfort.
In this production at Deep Dish Theater, artistic director Paul Frellick leads a seasoned cast of regional veterans and a notable newcomer to the scene in a theatrical night out with the boys that is not to be missed. Director and cast navigate the choppy waters and jazzy counter-rhythms of Mamet’s text, which stands as a world-class primer in the less-than-delicate art of verbal self-defense. With actors David Ring, John Murphy, Harvey Sage and talented new arrival Joshua Purvis wielding invective with expert timing, Glengarry Glen Ross repeatedly suggests the verbal equivalent of a kung-fu film with all the non-fight scenes removed.
That’s right: just the good stuff remains.
Catch the rest of the review -- and the week's other theatrical news -- Wednesday in the Independent.