Tag Archives: David Mamet

It Takes Brass Balls to Direct This Play: Round House’s Glengarry Glen Ross, reviewed

This is why I never wanted to get a real job: Alec Baldwin in "Glengarry Glen Ross: The Motion Picture."

This is why I never wanted to get a real job: Alec Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross: The Motion Picture.”

No stage production of Glengarry Glen Ross feels complete to me without the speech David Mamet added for the movie version, eight years after his play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984.  But Round House Theatre’s Mitchell Hebert-directed version is solid if not revelatory. Reviewed in today’s City Paper.

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S and Empathy: Studio’s Venus in Fur, reviewed, plus Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them

Christian Conn and Erica Sullivan whip it good. (Scott Suchman)

Venus in Fur
by David Ives
Directed by David Muse
At Studio Theatre to July 3

“I hate the audition process,” sighed provocateur-playwright David Mamet in a 2005 Los Angeles Times essay. “As an actor, I found it demeaning. As a writer and director, I find it damn near useless.”

It’s David Ives, not Mamet, whose fertile imagination begat Venus in Fur, a wickedly ingenious dark comedy that premiered in New York last year and has now arrived at the Studio Theatre in a new production that preserves its whip-smarts fully intact. But Mamet’s essay, “The Tyranny of the Audition,” could’ve contributed a perfectly descriptive moniker for Ives’s play had the latter not already borrowed the name of a scandalous 19th century German novella about a man who derives sexual pleasure from being abused. (If you already knew that the novella’s author’s name, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, is the origin of the term masochism, go to the the head of the class. And continue down the hall the principal’s office; we’re totally calling your parents.)

Ives’s intelligent design is not a straightforward adaptation of the novella. He presents us instead with a youngish, famous-ish, not-yet-rich theater artiste who’s trying to cast his new adaptation thereof. After a long day’s fruitless search for an age-appropriate, articulate and sexy “actress who can actually pronounce the word ‘degradation’ without a tutor,” playwright-director Thomas is surprised when a woman barges into his shabby studio from out of the rain, all self-flagellating apologies for showing up hours late for an audition he can’t even find on the schedule. He tries to blow her off but you know she’s going to read for him anyway, and if any ladies or actors or lady actors or anybody is getting vapors hearing such a brazen male wish-fulfillment scenario recounted, just you wait. As Vanda pries off her rain poncho to reveal her patent leather (or vinyl?) bondage gear — just wait, I said! — the balance of power between omnipotent creator and helpless actor has already begun its hypnotic migration across the stage. Continue reading

Coffee’s for Closers

glengarry

I talked to Jeremy Skidmore about his Keegan Theatre revial of David Mamet’s classic of manly desperation, Glengarry Glen Ross. Haven’t seen the production yet, but Celia Wren seemed to like it.

A couple days after I filed this, the new Fall Out Boy album came to me for review in what it turns out will be my final installment of Media Mix (as that part of the paper is going away come the new year), complete with a tune called “Coffee’s for Closers.” No obvious connection to the play, but perhaps I haven’t listened closely enough to Fall Out Boy. There is always that risk.

(Yes, I am well aware that All My Sons is by Arthur Miller and not David Mamet.)