8/1/2021      GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS                     Merely Players Presents


Glengarry PGM.jpg

(Bias Alert:  I have worked with Merely Players Presents Artistic Director Joan McElroy, and with actors Jerry Jobe and Dan Brown, and tend to view their work through approval-tinted glasses)


(Sloth Alert:  I have seen this play numerous times, so, of course, I have a pastiche-y template stored in my Slothly Archive, and am always happy to trot it out.)


Editor's note: For the purposes of the following dialog, here is a family-friendly pronunciation key:

f#$%in' / f#$% should both be pronounced like "Durn," as in "Those Durn Yankees."

p@@$$y should be pronounced like "Kitty," as in "Kitty tastes good with teriyaki sauce (or after a shower)."

as$%^&le should be pronounced like "Noble," as in "I am As Noble as can be." 

Readers with long memories may recognize much of the following as being plagiarized from my own 2007 review of the Alliance Theatre's production of this play and Pinch ‘n’ Ouch’s 2017 production. 


They can all Bite Me!

Thank you, and if the following offends any of you jagoffs in any f#$%in’ way, GOOD!

You: Tell me about --


Me: You want me to tell you --


You: Yeah, y'know, I want to know --


Me: You wanna know about what?


You: About this show --


Me: You wanna know about what?

You: About this show --

Me: THIS show?

You: This show, you know, Glengarry Glen Ross?

Me: You want ME to tell YOU about this f#$%in' Glengarry --

You: Yeah, that show, Glengarry --

Me:  -- Glen Ross, that show?

You: Yeah, that show.

Me: Well, it was almost f#$%in' brilliant?

You: Almost?

Me: What the f#$% did I just say? What are you, a f#$%in' jagoff -- (*).

You: Do you have to use that word?


Me:  -- or just a p@@$$y?

You: Or that word?

Me: What f#$%in' words?

You: You know --

Me: I know?

You: Yeah, you know --

Me: Well, how the f#$% should I know? Do I look like a f#$%in' mind reader? Do I look like I'm from f#$%in' Wisconsin?

You: Come on, you know --

Me: F#$% you! I'm not "Coming" anywhere with you or f#$%in' "Coming" near you or even f#$%in' "Coming" on you. Just tell me the f#$%in' words you don't want me to f#$%in' use!

You: I can't.

Me: You can't?

You: No, I can't.

Me: Why the f#$% not?

You: It's not a word nice people use.

Me: So you worry about nice people?

You: Well, sure --

Me: You like nice people?

You: I guess --

Me: You like plays about nice people?

You: Um --

Me: F#$% Nice People! Nice people make lousy plays. You want nice people? Go to a f f#$%in' convent. Go see f#$%in' On Golden Pondscum! Go watch f#$%in' Elmo on your f#$%in' kid's f#$%in' TV.

You: Um --

Me: You don't want to f#$%in' see this one!

You: I don't?

Me: You don't --

You: I really don't?

Me: You f#$%in' don't. And you f#$%in' can't.


You:   I can’t?


Me:  What did I say?


You:   You said I can’t.


Me:  I said you f#$%in' can't.


You:  Why not?


Me:  ‘Cause it’s closed, Dipsh#@t.  Today was the final performance.


You:  It’s over?


Me:   It’s over.


You:  Well, what was it like?


Me:   It was f#$%in' terrific!


You:  Didn’t you say “ALMOST brilliant?”


Me:   Bite me!


You:  But it’s not nice.


Me:  Definitely not nice.  But if you like plays about f#$%in' guys, manly f#$%in' guys, on the edge, on the ever-lovin' razor-f#$%in' edge, trying to get through life with a little f#$%in' dignity, this is one you can't miss.  Or shouldn’t have missed!

You: It's manly?

Me: What the f#$% kinda question is that? "Is it manly?"

You: I just want to know ..

Me: Know what?

You: Well what's the manliest thing you've ever done?

Me: You want to know the manliest thing I've done?

You: You, the manliest thing you've done. The manliest thing you do.

Me: Why should I f#$%in' tell you?

You: Why not?

Me: I listen to f#$%in' Show Tunes. Is that manly enough for you?

You: Well --

Me: What else do you want to know?

You: Do they say --

Me: Do they say what?

You: You know.

Me: How many f#$%in' times do I have to tell you, I don't know. Speak your mind, Jagoff!

You: Never mind.

Me: You're such a p@@$$y!

You: You say that like an insult.

Me: A what?

You: An insult.

Me: A what?

You: A f#$%in' insult!

Me: Watch your language, there are young people on this site.

You: F#$% You!

Me: Not so f#$%in' nice now, are you?

You: Okay Okay, I'm an as$%^&le. Tell me about the shoulda --


Me:  The shoulda?


You:  Yeah.  You say it shoulda been --


Me:  I said it shoulda?  When the f#$% did I say it shoulda?


You:  Before --


Me:  Before?  What the f#$% does that mean?


You:  Fuggedabouddit --


Me:  F#$%, now I remember.


You:  Well?


Me:  Yeah, well here's the thing.  The first act is usually staged as three static scenes.  Two guys in each scene sitting at restaurant tables talkin’


You:  Sounds lame...


Me:  It’s not.  It’s meeting the cast as they’re face to face, mano-a-mano, begging and pleading.   Making plans.  Smoking cancer sticks.  Drinking Booze.  And these’re all short scenes so intermission comes real f#$%in' fast.


You:  And here?


Me:  Here they’re blocked all over the place, as if the director was afraid he’d lose the audience if he let them just sit and talk.   Never happened in any production I’ve seen.


You:  You’ve seen this before?


Me.  Twice.  And I was in it twice.


You:  So all that blocking ruined it for you?


Me:  Nope.  The actors were good enough to make it work.  But when they sit at the bar then move to a table then move to another table than stand in the middle of the floor, it f#$%in' upends everything we know about how people behave in restaurants.


You:  You ever eat at a Chicago Restaurant?


Me:  F#$% that! 


You:  Well, what the hell do you know about it then?


Me:   What the f#$% do I know?


You:   Yeah, what the HELL do you know?


Me:   Whatever.


You:  Well, what about the second act?


Me:  The director f#$%in' redeemed himself.  The blocking was fluid, natural, and convincing.  The pace was breakneck, the story beats came f#$%in' fast and furious, and the reveals semi-sorta surprised even after all these viewings.

You:  Well, what about the actors?


Me:  The actors?

You: Yeah, the actors.  You said they were all terrific.

Me:   I said that?

You:  Yeah --

Me:   I f#$%in' said that about actors --

You:  .. the ones in Glengarry --

Me:   Oh the actors!

You:  Yeah, tell me about them.  Who are they?

Me:  Michael Miller was great as Levene.   Phil Mann was also terrific as Roma,  the kind of young guy we old farts love to hate. 


You:  What about the others?


Me:  All terrific.  Dan Brown as a baby-faced Williamson, bringing a f#$%in' image of chum-among-the-sharks to the as$%^&le role.  Mike Stevens as the "mark" Lingk, Phil Keeling  as Moss, James Allen Nelson as the cop, and Jerry Jobe as Aaronow.


You:  Didn't you once play Aaronow?


Me:  Twice, as$%^&le!  Once in 1992, again in 2010 –


You: God, you're old.

Me: Bite Me!

You: So it's a good play?

Me: It's a great play.  It's always been a great play.  It always will be a great play.  Mamet creates characters that pop, writes dialogue that feels real, dialogue that includes interruptions and half-formed thoughts, that has a poetic and profane rhythm that is almost like music.

You: But is it a GOOD play?

Me: It's a f#$%in' brilliant play with f#$%in' brilliant actors in a f#$%in' brilliant production that shoulda run a dozen weekends longer. 

You: I still wanna see it.  Some f#$%in' day.

Me: You still GOTTA see it!  Some f#$%in' day.

You: Can I take the kids?

Me: Only if you want a f#$%in visit from f#$%in' Child Services. 


   -- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@BiteMe.com  @Bi_TeMe  #WhichPartOfBiteMeIsUnclear  #MerelyPlayers Presents   #GlengarryGlenRoss)


*  Yeah, I shoulda defined "jagoff" for you as some jagoff said it's an “unwoke” word and could cause my posting to offend and me to be “cancelled.” Here's my definition:

JAGOFF: One whose thoughts and comments go off in abrupt and cranky directions. From the Old Chicago Dialect of the Middle English "Zigzaggen Jizzjaggeroff," or, "That which follows a serpentine course with abrupt and cranky changes of direction."  Often used affectionately, as in 'When the Ex-President tweets, he can be a bit of a Jagoff.'"  (cf the British “Wanker”)

Mamet may disagree.