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Glengarry Glen Ross

From Academic Kids

This article is about the play by David Mamet. For the movie adaption, see Glengarry Glen Ross (film).

Glengarry Glen Ross is the title of a 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Mamet. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical and/or illegal acts (from lies and flattery to bribery, threats and intimidation to burglary) in order to sell undesirable real estate to unwilling prospective buyers. The title of the play comes from the names of two of the real estate developments being peddled by the salesmen characters.

Language

The play is noteworthy for the flow of persuasive patter of the salesmen characters, who spend much time trying to convince customers, the oily office manager, and even each other to give them what they want: down payments for real estate, access to valuable sales leads, and even co-operation in conspiracies. The play also shocked audiences with its (for the time) raw language, with its roughly 150 uses of the word "fuck" or variations, as in this early scene, when desperate salesman Shelley Levene tries to persuade the office manager, Williamson, to give Levene prospects (or "leads") to sell to:

LEVENE: I need the leads. I need them now. Or I'm gone, and you're going to miss me, John, I swear to you.
WILLIAMSON: Murray...
LEVENE: ...you talk to Murray...
WILLIAMSON: I have. And my job is to marshal those leads...
LEVENE: Marshal the leads...marshal the leads? What the fuck, what bus did you get off of, we're here to fucking sell. Fuck marshaling the leads. What the fuck talk is that? What the fuck talk is that? Where did you learn that? In school?
(pause)
That's "talk," my friend, that's "talk." Our job is to sell. I'm the man to sell. I'm getting garbage.
(pause)
You're giving it to me, and what I'm saying is it's fucked.

Productions

Glengarry Glen Ross was first presented at the Cottlesloe Theatre in London on September 21, 1983. The original cast was:

Shelly Levene.............Derek Newark
John Williamson...........Karl Johnson
Dave Moss.................Trevor Ray
George Aaronow............James Grant
Richard Roma..............Jack Shepherd
James Lingk...............Tony Haygarth
Baylen....................John Tams

Glengarry Glen Ross premiered in the United States at the Goodman Theatre of the Arts Institute of Chicago in a Chicago Theatre Groups, Inc. production on February 6, 1984. The play opened on Broadway on March 25, 1984 at the John Golden Theatre, in a production directed by Gregory Mosher. The original American cast is below, with Lane Smith replacing William L. Petersen on Broadway.

Shelly Levene.............Robert Prosky
John Williamson...........J. T. Walsh
Dave Moss.................James Tolkan
George Aaronow............Mike Nussbaum
Richard Roma..............Joe Mantegna
James Lingk...............William L. Petersen
Baylen....................Jack Wallace

The play received numerous Tony Award nominations, including those for the director, Mosher, and actors Prosky and Mantegna, with Mantegna winning in the Best Featured Actor category.

In 2005, Glengarry Glen Ross was revived on Broadway, opening on May 1, 2005 at the Royale Theatre, in a production directed by Joe Mantello. The revival cast was:

Richard Roma..............Liev Schreiber
Shelly Levine.............Alan Alda
John Williamson...........Frederick Weller
Dave Moss.................Gordon Clapp
George Aaronow............Jeffrey Tambor
James Lingk...............Tom Wopat
Baylen....................Jordan Lage

The revival received numerous Tony Award nominations, including Best Featured Actor nominations for Alda, Clapp, and Schreiber, with Schreiber taking home the prize. The production also won a Tony for Best Revival of a Play.

Glengarry Glen Ross has also been produced as a radio play for BBC Radio 3, featuring Hector Elizondo, Stacy Keach, Bruce Davison, and Alfred Molina as Roma, and first airing March 20, 2005.

External links

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