Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
Glengarry Glen Ross
The setting is 1984 Chicago, but Glengarry Glen Ross is still sharply relevant in an era of burst housing bubbles and a slipping economy. The anger and fear that drive Mamet's salesmen to unethical means (and hilarious yet lyrical streams of profanity) are, if anything, more pronounced in today's business climate than they were in the high-flying 1980s.
As Shelly (The Machine) Levene, once the top salesman in the office but lately on the skids, Rick Foucheux is touching and genuine; he lets the audience see the person inside the various characters he puts on. He's determined not to give up: as he battles the office manager (KenYatta Rogers) for a crack at the best leads, he rages, he wheedles, and he tries to manipulate the other man's emotions.
Alexander Strain, as the hotshot salesman Richard Roma, brings an ingenuousness to a role often played as a shark in a sleek suit. He's boyish and seemingly guileless as he seduces a nerdy fellow (Jesse Terrill, all wide eyes and anxious gestures) into signing a contract. Conrad Feininger is all aggrieved dignity as George Aaronow, faced with an illegal business opportunity offered by Dave Moss (Jeff Allin in sunglasses and smarmy mustache).
Hébert has decided to present the play without an intermission, which keeps the tension high and makes the performance fly past in less than 90 minutes. James Kronzer has designed yet another amazing set, which earns its own applause as it pulls apart booths in a Chinese restaurant and reassembles itself as a gritty real estate office with grim cinderblock walls and heavy doors.
Round House Theatre