(P)2004 L.A. Theatre Works
"Speed-the-Plow" is a fast-moving comedy/drama about Hollywood values (or lack thereof) done in David Mamet's characteristic machine-gun verbal style. As usual, Mamet's dialog is superb--funny and smart--although at times he almost crosses the line into self-parody. The actors, particularly Adam Arkin as a desperate studio exec. trying to use a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move up the production ladder, are remarkably good. The only reason I did not give it five stars is that the subject matter is not earthshaking; there is no tragic core here. Think of it as "Glengarry Glen Ross" lite. However, the play is relentlessly entertaining, and there are plenty of ideas thrown out about what constitutes a commercially viable film for the listener to ponder. Altogether, this is a highly enjoyable listen, and I think any modern theatre fan will enjoy it.
The excellent performances in this production make it a joy to listen to. Mamet's dialogue sparkles and crackles as it carries you along on this fun insight into life in the film industry. Even the music played between Acts is delightful.
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