Glengarry Glen Ross

Pegged to the Rep's production of American Buffalo (opening Jan. 16), this 1992 adaptation of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross boasts a stellar cast—most notably Al Pacino as hotshot salesman Ricky Roma (he who just took Jack Lemmon's role, as tired old Shelley Levene, in a poorly received Broadway revival). Not that you need reminding, but Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, and Kevin Spacey also star in the movie. But it is worth remembering that the endlessly quotable play, about desperate salesmen hawking dubious real estate, debuted all the way back in the Reagan era, 1984, when it earned a Pulitzer. Glengarry was then seen as a withering indictment of capitalism, one that portrayed the corrosive cost of selling upon the soul. You're either on the leader board, making it—or, in Baldwin's words, "Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired." For all its testosterone posturing and extravagant insults, Glengarry sides with the second- and third-placers. There's more compassion than meanness to it. Mamet was, after all, the son of a labor lawyer. Only times have changed. He's now a rich right-winger whose latest play, The Anarchist, was a Broadway disaster that closed in a few weeks. As a writer, Mamet is now struggling for vigor and relevance—not unlike poor old Shelley Levene. (He's Roma no more.) In a cruel twist of fate for this supply-sider, the theatrical market has finally turned against him. (R) BRIAN MILLER

Mon., Jan. 21, 7 p.m., 2013

 
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