Monday, December 22, 2014

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NY1 Theater Review: 'Glengarry Glen Ross'

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Al Pacino is back on Broadway, this time in the 30th Anniversary production of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Glengarry Glen Ross". NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.

Glengarry Glen Ross is a great play and its current production features some great actors. Individually, they're each doing amazing things, but together, something's not working.

This is the third Broadway production of David Mamet's pulitzer prize winner. I've seen all three. What once registered as a virtuosic display of raw expletive-laden dialogue now seems over-cooked and almost stale.

Al Pacino is clearly the star here and fans will note he's switched characters since playing lead Richard Roma in the film 20 years ago. But judging from his performance as Shelly Levene, the desperate, past-his-prime salesman, he's still acting like the lead player. To look at him, all jittery, ponderous and bug-eyed, we're getting quite a performance but it's at his pace and on his terms. The rest of the cast is forced to wrestle a piece of the spotlight for themselves.

Ideally played, Mamet's scathing character study of shady salesmen dealing in bogus Florida properties should be a tightly drawn ensemble effort. Here it's every man for himself and we end up with a lot of shouting, furniture kicking and general histrionics. TV actors John C. McGinley and Richard Schiff as the volatile Dave Moss and his slow-witted foil George Aaronow had the best moments in Act One. Bobby Cannavale, always a treat to watch on stage has the right swagger but even he seems to suffer whenever trading lines with Pacino whose erratic delivery slowed everything down.

It's a testament to the play that theatre-goers seeing it for the first time aren't likely to complain. Mamet's rat-a-tat dialogue still zings even in this less than ideal staging.

It's hard to believe that Daniel Sullivan directed the production. He usually runs a much tighter ship. I still love the play, but from this bunch, I'm not buying. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP