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Glen Garry Glen Ross


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#1 PamM

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 05:49 PM

Surprised that nobody else has commented on this show, because it is brilliant. It helps that it is perhaps Mamet's best play, so the dialogue is cracking, but it is a tribute to the skill of the actors that they move it along so naturally that you really believe they are selling bits of land in Florida to people who don't really want or need them just to pay the bills at the end of the month (not to mention the prize Cadillac for the top man). It is an ensemble piece that is absolutely not a star vehicle, but works as a team performance. It is almost invidious to choose a single moment, but I thought that in Act 2 Tom Smith as Lames Lingk gave a performance as good as any I have ever seen anywhere (and no, I am not his mum, I have never met him, and don't recall ever seeing him in anything before). I am heading for my bus pass (not quite there yet but working on it!) and it is a long time since a play has hit me so hard, so I am still recalling it days later. But this is up there with John Malkovitch and Juliet Stevenson in Burn This in the eighties and Charles Dance as Coriolanus (same decade). It is not perfect (although I saw a preview and it may have improved) but is a great piece of theatre.

#2 Lynette

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 12:39 PM

Thanks, Pam; I'll be there.

#3 Jan Brock

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 08:50 AM

QUOTE(PamM @ Oct 5 2007, 06:49 PM) View Post
Surprised that nobody else has commented on this show, because it is brilliant. It helps that it is perhaps Mamet's best play, so the dialogue is cracking, but it is a tribute to the skill of the actors that they move it along so naturally that you really believe they are selling bits of land in Florida to people who don't really want or need them just to pay the bills at the end of the month (not to mention the prize Cadillac for the top man). It is an ensemble piece that is absolutely not a star vehicle, but works as a team performance. It is almost invidious to choose a single moment, but I thought that in Act 2 Tom Smith as Lames Lingk gave a performance as good as any I have ever seen anywhere (and no, I am not his mum, I have never met him, and don't recall ever seeing him in anything before). I am heading for my bus pass (not quite there yet but working on it!) and it is a long time since a play has hit me so hard, so I am still recalling it days later. But this is up there with John Malkovitch and Juliet Stevenson in Burn This in the eighties and Charles Dance as Coriolanus (same decade). It is not perfect (although I saw a preview and it may have improved) but is a great piece of theatre.


I wonder if they are using the original play (premiered at NT), or the extended script used in the film ? From what I recall the "prize Cadillac" speech was in the latter but not the former.

(Did not think much of Dance as Coriolanus, incidentally)

#4 Backdrifter

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 09:48 AM

I'm assuming they'll keep to the stage script. I did like the addition of the Blake character in the film though, Baldwin's cameo is one of my favourites and I love his speech. "See this watch? This watch cost more than your car. That's who I am." A friend who was a sales director at a major company had to give his team a bollocking. I suggested he adapted that speech. He mused about it, but said the best he could manage would be "See this watch? This watch cost slightly more than your lunch."

Looking forward to it, seeing it next month.
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#5 Jan Brock

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 10:08 AM

QUOTE(Backdrifter @ Oct 8 2007, 10:48 AM) View Post
I'm assuming they'll keep to the stage script. I did like the addition of the Blake character in the film though, Baldwin's cameo is one of my favourites and I love his speech. "See this watch? This watch cost more than your car. That's who I am." A friend who was a sales director at a major company had to give his team a bollocking. I suggested he adapted that speech. He mused about it, but said the best he could manage would be "See this watch? This watch cost slightly more than your lunch."

Looking forward to it, seeing it next month.


But the "Cadillac" speech was by Blake in the film also ? It is a great speech too, "The first prize is ....."

Would have loved to have seen the recent New York production with Alan Alda, Jeffrey Tambor and others.

#6 Elle

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 10:28 AM

I enjoyed this play/production. Although I thought the Lingk portrayal was the weakest somehow he just seemed too much like a caricature to me. Thought Jonathan Pryce was excellent... his desperation was quite tangible. All the rest of the cast were outstanding ~ easily believed their characters. Aidan Gillen is very easy on the eyes, charming and even his character's expletive tirade seemed less vile because of who it emanated from. Had a really rowdy crowd when I went thank goodness nowhere near where I was sitting (heard a lot of shhh's). Is it considered Mamet's best play? I'm not familiar with his work but I think this was an interesting look at a part of 80s America. The Reagan years I would think when it seemed consumerism was in the fore ('yuppies').

#7 Backdrifter

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Oct 8 2007, 11:08 AM) View Post
But the "Cadillac" speech was by Blake in the film also ? It is a great speech too, "The first prize is ....."

Would have loved to have seen the recent New York production with Alan Alda, Jeffrey Tambor and others.

Yes, sorry, I might have misled - Blake the character and his entire speech was added in the film, and does not appear in any stage version I'm aware of. And I like all his dialogue in the film, it's a tense well-written scene and Baldwin's cameo is terrific, he really leaves his mark on that film with his 10-minute appearance.  Yes - "Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is: you're fired. Oh - do I have your attention now?"

Tambor appeared in it in New York? That's one guy I'd love to see on stage. A consistently good screen actor but in particular his Hank Kingsley in The Larry Sanders Show is, for me, one of the greatest screen comedy performances ever, and not always in a nice or comfortable way (usually not, in fact).

Elle - yes I think it is an interesting look at 80s America, but it's also an uncomfortable look at what we sometimes have to do to earn a living.
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#8 Jan Brock

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 12:19 PM

QUOTE(Backdrifter @ Oct 8 2007, 12:28 PM) View Post
Tambor appeared in it in New York? That's one guy I'd love to see on stage.


Tambor played George Aaronow (the part Alan Arkin played in the film), but I could imagine him as Shelley Levene too.

#9 Backdrifter

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 12:48 PM

QUOTE(Jan Brock @ Oct 8 2007, 01:19 PM) View Post
Tambor played George Aaronow (the part Alan Arkin played in the film), but I could imagine him as Shelley Levene too.

Oh, he'd be a terrific Levene. Do you know who Alda played? I can imagine him as Levene too.
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#10 Jan Brock

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE(Backdrifter @ Oct 8 2007, 01:48 PM) View Post
Oh, he'd be a terrific Levene. Do you know who Alda played? I can imagine him as Levene too.


Alda was Levene. At the time there was talk of the entire production transferring to London - I think the new London production has the same director (I have not checked).

I see an actor in the new production has withdrawn and the press night is postponed - bad news as it is an emsemble piece.




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