Company Carolina adeptly transformed a potentially boring “Glengarry Glen Ross” into quite a telling comedy.
Talented actors performed ordinary lines as witty and amusing, and offered a rare theatrical glimpse into employee relations in the cutthroat real estate business.
David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play included many words and little physical movement. His intentional lack of stage direction translated into actors milling about, delivering lines to one another.
Convincing body language did supplement Mamet’s lines and was much appreciated. With distinct voices, this play could have conceivably been performed without any visuals.
This became the downfall of the first half of the play.
Five salesmen and one unsuspecting customer sat in pairs, but none of the actors left their seats until the end.
For the distractible audience member, the quick, relentless dialogue, however impressively memorized and delivered, may have been a bit of a bore.
“Glengarry” was also doused with expletives, fitting for the play’s unethical and ruthless businessmen. This was not a family-friendly play in the least.
Props in the first act were minimal and did not detract from Mamet’s sheer mass of words. But the set in the second act was a convincing and beautifully rendered small office space which made full use of Historic Playmakers Theatre stage.
Daniel Doyle as Richard Roma and Charles Monroe as Shelly Levene were particularly notable, but all main actors did very well.
The anger was visible, the nervousness was palpable, and the dishonest charisma was slick.
Daniel Freeman’s portrayal of the aging George Aaronow was funny and on point.
If the intention was to perform a different kind of play, Company Carolina succeeded.
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