I caught “Glengarry Glen Ross” last night at The Rep and I would really have to say, “It's a guy thing.” Last time I checked: not a guy. So, as long as we fully acknowledge the elephant in the living room, we can get on with business.
Money, greed, power, machismo -- it's all there. So if you like that stuff, you'll love this play! No really, it was just a little “male” for me. I went to experience a play by David Mamet, known for writing intense dialog with a rhythm and poetry of its own, and to witness the also well-known James DeVita in action. Glad I got that out of my system!
I would venture to guess that the purpose of the play is to invoke social commentary on the more negative aspects of the capitalist system that is held so dear in our fine country. Do I enjoy looking at that bit zit in the middle of my face in the mirror? I might rather not do it, but it is nonetheless important that I acknowledge it is there. You can't begin to fix the problem if you are living in denial.
I did really like that a large portion of the play was set in a Chinese restaurant, complete with numerous fortune cookies (although no one read their fortunes out loud). My ears perked up when Ricky Roma lyrically contemplated the past, the future and the power of the present moment. All good stuff, and a theme that was returned to. Unfortunately, it was only repeated in the name of making a sale and closing a deal on some poor sap like me; kind of like black magic (wah).
I give credit to the actors who played their parts effectively. You could definitely feel the stress and testosterone rising off of the stage. Amazingly, all this was accomplished without a punch being thrown, nor the use of a gun -- certainly a task many of today's screenwriters might strive to be worthy of.
Jessica Laub was born in Milwaukee in the spring of 1970, thereafter spending her childhood days enjoying the summers on the shores of Lake Michigan and winters at the toboggan chute in Brown Deer Park.
Alas, she moved away to broaden her horizons, and studied out East for a few years at Syracuse University. After a semester "abroad" at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, she graduated with a B.A. in English and advertising.
After college, she worked at Glacier National Park, a ski hill in Steamboat, Col. and organic farms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California.
In 1995, Laub moved to Nicaragua where she worked on community gardens, reforestation and environmental education as a Peace Corps volunteer. While there, she learned to speak Spanish, pay attention to world politics and how to make tortillas.
Laub then returned to Milwaukee to join the ranks of the non-profit sector. Currently, she works at the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) and keeps busy by painting, throwing pots, reading, trying to understand her two-year old son, seeing performances and howling at the moon.