Archive for July 2016
You can always count on good acting in a Theatre 9/12 production. Their current take on David Mamet’s 1988 play, “Speed the Plow,” offers acting that is exquisite. There are only three characters, and each of them is brilliantly played. Mamet’s language is always nuanced, and here it stings and soars, especially powerful in the hands of Director Charles Waxberg and these three actors.
The play lacerates the Hollywood system where egos, sex and money drive the business. Here Bobby, recently appointed his studio’s head of production, is ecstatic because his old pal Charlie has brought him the opportunity to snag one of Hollywood’s biggest stars for his next movie. It will be a financial bonanza for Bobby, and for Charlie it’s a chance to break into the major league after years of playing in the minors.
After Bobby’s well endowed temporary secretary brings them coffee, Charlie teases Bobby, betting he can’t bed her that night. Little does he know how close that bet will come to ruining all his dreams. Danielle Daggerty as Karen the secretary brings a charming naiveté and enthusiasm. Yet you can’t help wondering if perhaps that innocence might be a cover for shrewd manipulation when she’s really determined to accomplish something.
Robert Alan Barnett as Bobby Gould is one of those big lugs of a man, a bit awkward in his body. He can be brutal, unsure, despondent, elated. And always there’s that glad hand, but remember, nobody gets to his position in Hollywood without a stiletto close by. He is the man “who wanted to do good” but was only foolish.
Michael Oaks as Charlie Fox, the man who finally sees a potential for real success is energy restrained…almost. His performance is mesmerizing. Every muscle in his face comes into play at some time or other. His eyes widen, his mouth has its own choreography. He licks his chops, tightens his jaw, and all the while his hands are dancing to their own tune.
If you like riveting theatre, this is for you.
Through July 31, at Trinity Episcopal Church Auditorium, 609 8th Ave., Seattle, (206-332-7908 or www.Theatre912.com).