Burying the Glengarry Leads

TheatreFIRST revives a typically testosterone-fueled Mamet classic (the first of three local theaters to stage Glengarry Glen Ross in a few months). My review is in the Oakland Tribune and other BANG papers.

Tim Redmond as John Williamson and Michael Torres as George Aaronow in TheatreFIRST's Glengarry Glen Ross.

Tim Redmond as John Williamson and Michael Torres as George Aaronow in TheatreFIRST’s Glengarry Glen Ross.

Review: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ captures Mamet’s nasty world

A funny thing happened when this review came out. I originally mentioned in my review that they skipped a key stretch of dialogue that changes the entire ending and meaning of the play. Then I got a note from the director (who also played the role that would have delivered that dialogue) asking what I was talking about–they didn’t skip anything. (And no, I wasn’t thinking of that scene added for the movie that everybody thinks is in the play but isn’t. I know better than that.)

Well, this was a Twilight Zone moment for me. Could I possibly have just zoned out during that important scene? Was it just so underplayed that it didn’t make any impression? I checked in with a colleague of mine who happened to be at the same show, and she remembered the same sequence of events that I remembered.

Somewhat reassured, I wrote back to the director/actor that I didn’t understand what he meant about not skipping anything. Then he informed me that the conversation I’m thinking of is in the published edition of the play for general readers but is left out of the Samuel French version that theaters actually get the rights to perform. So in a sense we were both right–this important bit of dialogue was left out, but TheatreFIRST didn’t skip anything and I was mistaken in thinking that the glitch was on their end. But it’s a shame. The director says he actually inquired about performing that part and was told no, use the script we sent you. It’s a much better play with this bit of dialogue in it, but theaters aren’t supposed to perform it because that’s not in the script they’re given. This is one instance where the version on the page is superior to the one on the stage.

Glengarry Glen Ross
Through May 24
Live Oak Theatre
1301 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA

Show #35 of 2015, attended April 26.

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