“Glengarry Glen Ross” at CNY Playhouse: Bitingly Funny

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Cast of “Glengarry Glen Ross” at CNY Playhouse. Photo by Amelia Beamish.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Who: Central New York Playhouse

Where: 3649 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse, NY

When: Through May 2

Tickets: $17-$20

Review by Haley Chouinard 

Desperation can push people to do all kinds of things. In the case of Glengarry Glen Ross, desperation causes a group of down-on-their-luck salesman to lie, cheat and steal, all under the guise of winning a brand new Cadillac Eldorado.

David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play follows a group of fast-talking, foul-mouthed real estate agents in 1983. Based out of Chicago, they sell condos in far off destinations like the Glengarry Highlands in Florida, but times are tough, sales are low and things turn ugly fast.

JIm Uva and Keith Arlington in "Glengarry Glen Ross" at CNY Playhouse. Photo by Amelia Beamish.

JIm Uva and Keith Arlington in “Glengarry Glen Ross” at CNY Playhouse. Photo by Amelia Beamish.

Working with a cast of eight actors, director Kasey McHale tackles Mamet’s quick and bone-dry comedy well.

Nathan Faudree as Richard Roma, the star salesman at the agency, and Jim Uva as the devious Dave Moss are delightful to watch. Faudree’s slight Chicago dialect really rounded out the character. Pacing is crucial in a play where monologues span several minutes. Both Uva and Faudree had a great sense of timing that enhanced every scene they were in.

Jack Sherman was also a standout as the agency’s veteran salesman Shelly Levene. Sherman brought a nervous urgency to Shelly that made the character’s desperation palpable.

Jack Sherman and Nathan Faudree in "Glengarry Glen Ross" at CNY Playhouse. Photo by Amelia Beamish.

Jack Sherman and Nathan Faudree in “Glengarry Glen Ross” at CNY Playhouse. Photo by Amelia Beamish.

While parts of Mamet’s play now feel a little outdated, (there are several jokes about race that the audience did not seem to know how to handle), the big ideas still hold up. Who can’t relate to the fear of failing, of being the worst at your job or letting your family down? More than three decades after it premiered, Glengarry Glen Ross is still fiercely funny and uncomfortably relatable. It’s a comedy that stings.

 

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