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Glengarry Glen Ross

The greedy women of ALT Theatre's "Glengarry Glen Ross" (photo by Lukia Costello)

Alt Theatre presents Mamet with an all-women cast

It is true that in the American theater, the deck is stacked in favor of men. While theater departments turn out far more women, a quick look at Shakespeare proves that the classics are dominated by men, and so are the leading roles of most serious drama. To add to the injury, there is a great fashion for featuring men in some of the most delicious roles ever written. Charles Busch has made a career of it. In Buffalo it is the key to the Jimmy Janowski phenomenon. I recently saw the great Brian Bedford assay Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, as the great William Hutt had done before him (and as John Buscaglia once did at Buffalo’s Kavinoky Theatre).

The work of David Mamet is a lightning rod for female reactions to the male-dominated playing field—with Sam Shepard a close second. Mamet’s vividly drawn male characters, with their colorfully foul language and aggressive behavior, seem to be the purest example of the boys-only theater club, and the purest example of this is certainly his 1983 play, Glengarry Glen Ross, which features seven signature Mamet characters—all men.

This play, which is about real estate hucksters who lie, cheat, and deceive to survive, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984, had a very successful run on Broadway, inspired a revival, and, despite having no women, no sex, and no violence, was made into a film.

Every few years one hears of a group of women who rebel and try the roles themselves. After all, the characters in Glengarry Glen Ross do not absolutely, positively, utterly, totally, necessarily, completely have to be men…


Female versions of Glengarry Glen Ross are a favorite caprice of university students everywhere, and occasionally show up on the stages of smaller regional theaters. A group of Buffalo State women recently took it on, and now ALT Theatre takes a turn. Kerrykate Abel, Wendy Hall, Jennifer Fitzery, Megan Callahan, Christina Golab, Joy Ann Wrona, Lisa Dee, and Amy Taravella will curse and connive their way through Mamet’s beloved tale of treachery and ambition beginning this week, under the direction of Ronald J. Leonardi at ALT Theatre, 255 Great Arrow Ave., third floor. Performances continue through March 12. Call 868-6847 for ticket information.

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