One of the many gems in Sarasota, Fla., is the Asolo Repertory Theatre where Tony Award winners direct new takes of classic and modern plays, partner with screenwriters and songwriters for creative adaptations and so much more.
The acting and everything else for that matter in “Glengarry Glenn Ross” was superb. But writing about it was a little tricky because I couldn’t really quote the best lines to make my points because there was so much god—- cussing!
So I decided to embrace the salty script and focus on that.
Always, Be, Cursing — it’s what makes Glengarry Glenn Ross bring out the old boys’ club atmosphere of land sharks that eat each other alive looking for the next sale.
It’s meant to convey the intensity in both the original play and the movie, which brings out a darkness, or sinister attitude.
At Asolo Rep, the audience might brush all the repeated language off and find the comedy in the desperate situation these salesman find themselves in.
It’s hard to quote the play given that every type of curse — creative to old standbys — are in there. For the Asolo production, the F Bombs every which way sprinkled in with some S Bombs and even the F This S and the C word, the delivery of those lines seemed more lighthearted because these characters seemed to be greedy rather than desperate to make this month’s commission or afraid of being out on the street with a hat in their hand, or perhaps as one of the characters might say, without a pot to um, tinkle in.
It’s not the same kind of Gordon Gecko “Wall Street’ greed: That’s a whole different level.
Before the show, the theater hosts a discussion about the strong language in the play for those who may be shocked or upset by it, but many in the audience Friday night, myself included, found humor in it all because these guys trying to get ahead are all miserable fricks.
Maybe I’m jaded from being in newsrooms and locker rooms where salt in the language is as noticeable as the salt in Sarasota Bay, but I didn’t mind it.
Credit to actors, Douglas Jones as Shelley Levene, Jay Patterson as Ray, and Eric Hissom as Ricky Roma, for being able to spit out the lines as fast as the play itself to deliver an upbeat performance. The two-act play lasts just 80 minutes, which is about 20 minutes shorter than the movie adaptation starring Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey.
You won’t find the “ABC” scene in the play as playwright David Mamet wrote the part of Blake specifically for Alec Baldwin in the movie. Though I turned to my guest asking if Robert De Niro was in the movie.
David Breitbarth as George Aaronow is more of the Type B personality to the Type A Ray, who talks George into doing anything and doesn’t let him have much of a word in a conversation. When George tries to cut in and talk and explain, he delivers the lines with that De Niro way, with a touch of exasperation.
I hadn’t seen the movie because I was in elementary school when it was released, and I was born when it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The greatest amount of exposure I’ve had to the play was the “Glengarry Glen Christmas” sketchwhere Alec Baldwin reprises his role as a greedy Santa’s Workshop boss on Saturday Night Live.
Better late than never for me to see the original. You should bleeping considerate it.
Glengarry Glen Ross
Tickets cost $20 to $72
Next showing is 2 p.m. Jan. 20. Next 8 p.m. showing is Jan. 23.
Inside Asolo Rep – Feb. 27, 2013 11 a.m. – 12 noon in the Cook Theatre Get a glimpse of what goes on behind the curtain with this special event featuring director Carl Forsman and other creative artists from the production. Tickets are $5 for the panel discussion only (and free for Guild Members and Donors). Tickets are available through the box office.
Meet the Actors – Jan. 20, 2013 Audience members will have the opportunity to interact with the cast during a moderated talkback immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee. This event is free.
Tuesday Talkbacks Immediately following the performances on Feb. 12 and Feb. 26, the audience is invited to join a cast and a creative team member for a moderated talkback on the mezzanine.