Friday, February 8, 2013

Mamet's Mad Men

Glengarry Glen Ross = Hughie x 6.

Alexander Strain as "Richard Roma." Photo by Danisha Crosby

I really really really didn't want to go see a David Mamet play this season at Round House Theatre. Pulitzer Prize notwithstanding, there is nothing I can relate to here. And I'm still mad at David Mamet for once writing that "all drama is conflict." (I suppose it is, but not all conflicts are wars. See Thornton Wilder.)

I would have switched this ticket to get an extra one to one of the remaining productions, but my theater buddy refused since we didn't know anything about the new shows that RHT switched to when the new director took over. (Couldn't interest my Jewish friend in the Bible book writing play. Go figure.)

Another reason I wasn't anxious to see this production was that I only recognized one of the actors, Rick Foucheux as Shelly "the Machine" Levene. Foucheux's previous RHT credits include Pride and Prejudice and The Weir.

Rick Foucheux as "Shelly." Photo by Danisha Crosby

But as I glanced through the program, I recognized more of Round House's veteran character men:
  • Alexander Strain as "Richard Roma," previously seen in Next Fall, My Name Is Asher Lev, and Lord of the Flies.
  • Jeff Allin as "Dave Moss," previously seen in Young Robin Hood, Permanent Collection, and Treasure Island.
  • Conrad Feininger as "George Aaronow," previously in Charming Billy.
  • Kenyatta Rogers as "John Williamson," previously in Amadeus, A Wrinkle in Time, Eurydice, and A Lesson Before Dying.
(New to RHT were Jesse Terrill as "James Lingk" and Stephen Patrick Martin as "Baylen.")

So I had no complaint coming or going with the acting, nor with the nifty two-act set design (kudos, James Kronzer). Or the direction by Mitchell H├ębert.

Nope, it's just Mamet. And I really shouldn't have had a complaint about Mamet, since his A Life in the Theatre was, it so happens, the first production I ever saw at RHT back in the old round schoolhouse venue.

Like the character of "Erie" in O'Neill's Hughie, though, these characters were just thoroughly contemptible. Didn't want to spend an evening with them. A woman behind me kept whispering to her husband, "This is painful. This is just painful." In the side section, another woman was putting on her lipstick. And another woman finally had enough and walked out. Speed that plow.

See you next at Folger's Henry V and, at Ford's, my village of happy nice people, Our Town.

Love, hosaa

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