Saturday, November 14, 2009

- Theater Review - Speed-the-Plow

The Corn Stock Winter Playhouse continues its 2009-2010 season with David Mamet's classic "Speed-the-Plow".

Mamet, a Chicago native and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, is known for his gritty, streetwise, sometimes vulgar, rapid-fire dialogue. This play provides a definitive example.

This three-character play is a classic tale of Hollywood, and the battle between money and Art. Two Tinseltown producers struggle with the choice of whether to produce a surefire formulaic blockbuster or a meaningful and artistic vision of mankind's apocalyptic doom. The choice is further complicated by the intercession of a sultry office temp. In cynical Hollywood, can true Art triumph over lust for profit?

Amy Wyckoff as Karen delivers a commendable, but somewhat wooden performance. I wish that she had projected more of the smoldering sensuality that is so critical to the role, particularly in the late night apartment scene. The rapid-fire dialogue can present a real challenge for actors, but Nathan Irwin and Dave Schick as the producers, pull it off with impeccable timing. Mr. Schick, as loyal beta-dog Charlie Fox, is particularly convincing and effective.

This is a great "alternative" play that, to my knowledge, has not been previously presented in Peoria. So, if you are looking for a new and thought-provoking theater experience, do not miss this one!

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