David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross follows the story of four real estate agents, Levene, Roma, Moss, and Aaronow, who work under their supervisor Williamson. It is the end of the month and the higher ups in the company, Mitch and Murray, have decided to stage a sales competition. Based on achieving a certain monetary amount in sales, this contest allows for two winners. The winners get to keep their jobs and potentially win a Cadillac. The losers will lose their jobs.
One night at Chinese restaurant, Levene attempts to draw better sales leads from Williamson to have an edge over his competitors revealing that he has been struggling. As hard as Levene tries through showing off, flattery, and finally bribing, nothing convinces Williamson to go against the policies of the company. During this time, Moss and Aaronow talk about the unfair nature of the company’s policies and discuss how a former colleague, named Graff, started his own company that has policies that are better than those of their current management. Moss suggests to Aaronow that they break into their bosses’ office, steal the best leads, and sell them to Graff. Moss tells Aaronow that he wants him to commit the break-in because he would be the least expected in the crime, and if he does not do it, he will do it himself, and if caught, will implicate Aaronow as being his accomplice.
Roma is also sitting in a restaurant delivering a monologue about how morality seems lacking in the world and how each individual needs to take responsibility for his own destiny in life. A man named Lingk is nearby and hears Roma’s disjointed oration and is drawn in, to where Roma initiates a sales pitch with the hope of turning Lingk into a real estate client. The following day at the office. Someone has indeed broke in and stole the leads. Baylen, a police detective, comes on scene and questions the salesmen to find out who is guilty of the crime.
Under the direction of Michael K. Potter and assistant director Fay Lynn, this male dominated drama provides excellent dialogue and a consistently engaging performance. For a smaller cast, the overall production was not lacking in impact or talent. Joey Ouellette shows off his dynamic skill while giving the character of Shelley “the Machine” likeability whilst being sympathetic personality, all while showcasing his new moustache. Gregory Girty gave the character of Moss a charming but cunning persona that provided just the right amount of grit to the story’s perceived villain. His acting was influential and gave the narrative the likeable antagonist it needed. Michael K. Potter showed that he was an immense pro. His acting was realistic, and he played the role of a cocky, sly top dog with conviction and shamelessness. It is evident that he is well versed in acting and direction and it is clear he has an immense passion for what he does.
A special shoutout goes to Alex Alejandria. This was his second show with Post Productions and though his character doesn’t make an appearance until the second act, he comes with guns blazing and leaves a huge impression on the audience.
The design elements of the production were uncomplicated and clever. The setting for the Chinese restaurant consisted of three tables and the subtle touches (like characters smoking indoors) suggested the time period the production was based on and the use of the lighting to highlight each conversation going on between the different tables was well timed and executed. The costumes were incredibly stylish and appropriate for the time the story was based around. They were indicative of the characters personalities and added that little extra sense of flair that salesmen carry. The set had small touches, like motivational posters around the walls, that one would expect to see in a competitive sales setting. The use of broken glass on the floor and broken window did an excellent job in selling the illusion of a office that was burgled. There was a board on the wall showcasing each characters sales and helped highlight the idea of the current top dog, and a down on his luck has been.
I would definitely recommend catching this production while it is running at the Shadowbox. This play masterfully dramatizes the brutal, inhumane side of American business life, and the extremes people will go when desperate and trying to get ahead in a world built on capitalism. The cast was loaded with talent, the design elements, though simple, provided just the right amount of theatrics and realism to sell the story and keep the audience entertained. The acting was very natural, and the plot was amusing and unpredictable. The direction was professional, and the production had excellent dialogue and is not one to be missed.
Glengarry Glen Ross plays April 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 & 29, 2023 at 8:00 pm. The show runs approximately 2 hours. Recommended for mature audiences. Tickets are available at the Shadowbox Theatre (1501 Howard Ave., at the corner of Howard and Shepherd in Windsor, ON), or online at www.postproductionswindsor.ca.
“Greed is good.”