A night at the Office with the ladies of Glengarry Glen Ross

The Reason:

This month has been a bit of a struggle for me.

:::WARNING:  FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS AHEAD:::

After buying my plane ticket home, I have had a plethora of revelations. One, I’m going home in less than 2 months. Two, I’m going home in less than two months. And three, I’m going home in less than two months, I’m going… I’m going home in… Holy Crap, I have less than two months…

You get the picture.

The stress of it all has put me in a strange sort of funk where the only time I want to leave the house is when it involves traveling to another country or making money. And home isn’t much of a sanctuary considering that I do the bulk of my work from my house.

To make a long story short, there couldn’t have been a better time for me to stumble upon an all female cast version of the 1983 David Mamet play, Glengarry Glen Ross.

After weeks of feeling like I’ve been falling behind on every project and months of working around the clock, it was the perfect excuse to leave the hermit like comforts of my home. It was a good reason to take my eyes away from the screen of my computer. More importantly, it was a reason to watch a dynamic group of women kick butt on  stage as they played ruthless and savvy real estate agents.

But let’s be honest, who actually needs a reason to see girl power in action?

The Play:

Glengarry Glen Ross

Please bring your own coffee mug. If you do, you’ll receive a free drink!”

This was the statement typed at the bottom of my confirmation email. Yes, the free drink was a great welcome gift, but the cleverness of the office theme surrounding this play was far more appealing. What can I say, I am a sucker for details. Everything in the room seemed to reel me right into workspace mode. From the wine filled mug toting guests to the real coffee canister that doubled as a stage prop and complimentary coffee for all to enjoy.

With wine mug number two in hand I walked into the main room and plopped down on a very comfy sofa where I had a first row view of a set that took me back in time to just about any 80s movie that I could remember.

Decorated with an office setting to the left and a Chinese restaurant to the right, the ambiance was alluring and tranquil, but you could sense that there was an uneasy aspect waiting to reveal itself.

As the very 80s hit “Opportunities” by the Pet Shop Boys played in the background, the play opened with what seemed to be the daily routines of your typical Real Estates sales employees. At the office you can see Real Estate Agent Aaronow (Stephanie Brush) preparing for her day, but there is a different story going on next door at the Chinese restaurant. Agent Levene (E. Dana Wunderlich) is desperately trying to convince her boss, Williamson (Stephanie Cohen) that minus a stretched period of bad business, she was ready to take on bigger and better leads. This time she would kill it.

But Williamson wasn’t having it unless, “Give me $100” as she insisted was to be paid right then and there.

I was automatically drawn into Wunderlich’s character. Without having previous knowledge of the play or the movie (Released in 1992), I went into the show blindly. At the time I had no idea that her character would end up being the most dimensional character of them all. The one who really left me wondering about her outcome.

From jump, Wunderlich embodied Levene, making it very hard for me to separate the character from the reality.

I felt a large sense of compassion for Levene and while I was drawn into her from the beginning, she wasn’t the only amazing individual on that stage. In fact, the entire cast had a fantastic and shall I say slick way of bending my mind into utter amazement. Just as Moss (Peppur Chambers) tries to convince her colleague to help her rob the office; Roma (Nicole J. Adelman) makes her moves on a pathetic drunk future customer (Alex Greer) as he signs his life away to the scam of a lifetime.

The storyline is not for the sensitive mind. There is no shortage of foul language throughout the play which for me was remarkable to hear from a stage of talented female actors. The language wasn’t the only fact to consider. The story doesn’t have a happy ending. With Roma losing her big sale and Levene off to prison. You realize quickly that everything is falling apart here, and just when you give up hope, well, it all ends.

THE CAST

Kimmie’s Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, I could only think of one word to describe this performance: Outstanding!  

These women had to develop themselves into characters with little back story; not to mention, little personal development of the characters. As I spoke with actors, E. Dana Wunderlich and Peppur Chambers after the show, they mentioned that the only way for them to really figure out who they were was by fully accepting the roles of their characters into their day to day lives.

And if that meant spending weeks texting and speaking to each other in character, well, so be it.

Directed by Nicole J. Adelman & Marianna Bacoula

A Catnip Divadlo Production

Studio Savec

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. ED says:

    Kimmie,
    Thank you so much for this review – and for coming to the show. After a four year hiatus, this was quite a role to undertake – yet I was surrounded by an incredible cast & crew. As well, for an ‘older’ female … being a part of the entertainment industry in this youth obsessed world of male manipulation – it is empowering. Look at our cast! We continue to sweep the paths our grandmothers forged and help our younger sisters walk with us. Walk your path, Kimmie – wherever it takes you! ~ EDW

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