When I see a remount of an older – but not yet too old – play, I always find myself asking the question “Why?”. Why remount this particular play? Why in this particular one now? Why this particular production, why this direction… what is it about this piece of theatre about the there and then that is so important to teach us about our here and now that could not have been made better with a more contemporary piece? In the process of my musings I invariably stumble or skirt around the meaning of art and its role in society and down the rabbit hole we go. I’m a person who is always thinking of the purpose and utility of art in life. As a critic my role is to review the play that has been put in front of me, not the one that I wish was made.
Because sometimes, asking those questions is just too much a burden to put on a group of artist who want to perform /exhibit their favorite work, maybe even with a little twist.
Glengarry Glen Ross, directed by Rachel Peake, is a great remount of the David Mamet’s intense play about a bunch of high testosterone Mid western salesmen in the 80’s who are driven to great heights and depths in chase of the mighty dollar, but this time all the characters are played by women…and they kick ass!
Unfortunately the play has aged a little. References to Cadillacs and high pressure sales does not pull us in to the plot as much, as the racial slurs and bigotry push us away. I could see a few patrons – including myself- fidgeting at some of the most foul utterances of the actor’s words. I almost walked out at the intermission.
But if you can forgive the play for its historicity, you will see some women pull off performances that will knock your socks off!! The play demands exceptional performances by the actors and these women deliver! Everyone, had their moment to shine in a huge way in that tiny theatre. No doubt that you too will have your own favorite moments of these Classic Chic actress’ covering these Chicago macho scum. It is a testament to the mastery of their craft that I found myself in moments wondering if they truly were women under those ill fitting suits: Hats Off.
That’s all I’ll say about the play. Go see it!
Oh …and go see it soon, because it looks like it’s going to be a hit and tickets will sell out fast!
Play runs June 6 to 27th at The Beaumont Stage 326 West 5th Avenue. www.classicchic.ca
*Because this season I am on the Small Theatre Jessie Committee I am unable to review Small Theatre productions. So some guest reviewers will cover those productions that request it.