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Friday, Feb. 7, 2014

Death of a Sales Office

David Mamet’s ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ goes Off the Wall

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Glengarry Glen Ross is the second drama by David Mamet to open in Milwaukee in just over seven days. As his relatively recent drama Race makes it to the stage at Next Act Theatre, a Mamet classic resonates through one of the smallest stages in town. Glengarry is a look at the twitchy, emotional heart of capitalism as seen from a small real estate office in the 1980s.

The office has fallen on hard times. Warm, compassionate Michael Pocaro plays Shelly “The Machine” Levene, a man no longer as successful as he once was. The desperation in his character could be truly explosive in the tiny space of Off the Wall. A relative newcomer to Milwaukee, Zach McLain plays Ricky Roma, a young salesman at the top of his game who very much respects Shelly. McLain made quite an impression in World’s Stage’s A Behanding in Spokane some time ago. Here he’s given the opportunity to play someone very slick, which should work for him quite well. Also making an appearance is Mark Neufang as the office manager trying to keep things together. Under the right circumstances, Neufang has a calm, precise stage presence that will be fun to watch here as everything falls apart.

Off the Wall Theatre’s production of Glengarry Glen Ross runs Feb. 6-16, at 127 E. Wells St. For tickets, call 414-484-8874 or visit offthewalltheatre.com.


Theatre Happenings

■ It’s only a little over a decade old, but the premise for Robin Hawdon’s Perfect Wedding has a kind of a timelessness to it. A man wakes up the morning of his wedding next to a beautiful woman he’s never met before. His fiancé is due to come by to prepare for the wedding. Staging the farce is Waukesha Civic Theatre (264 W. Main St.), Feb. 7-23. For tickets, call 262-547-0708 or visit waukeshacivictheatre.org.

 

■ Sometimes your love lies over the ocean and sometimes your love lies under the ocean in a place called R’lyeh. The tentacled elder god spawned in the imagination of H.P. Lovecraft gets a staged valentine from The Quasi Mondo Physical Theatre’s Love & Chtulhu, Feb. 13-March 1, at The Milwaukee Fortress, 100 A. E. Pleasant St. For tickets, visit thequasimondo.com.

 

■ Bo Johnson, Alissa Rhode, Isabelle Kralj, Mark Anderson and more celebrate the wacky strangeness of love with a show dedicated to those aspects of it that are something other than graceful and well adjusted. Theatre Gigante’s Screwball Love celebrates the other side of romance in songs, music and dialogue, Feb. 13-15, at Kenilworth Studio 508, 1925 E. Kenilworth Place. For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006 or visit gigantescrewball.brownpapertickets.com.

■ The 2nd Annual InterACT Immersive Theatre Night
Friday, Feb. 7, 7-10 p.m.
Plankington Arcade of the Shops of Grand Avenue, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave.

The goal is to expand awareness of the participating theaters says Matt Kemple, co-host with Art Milwaukee of this extravagant mall party attended by hundreds last year. The Milwaukee Rep, Renaissance Theaterworks, In Tandem Theatre, Pink Banana, The World’s Stage and The Quasimondo Physical Theatre will give multiple performances of different short plays by popular American playwright David Ives. All productions are new. See them in any order; see one several times to see how each performance is unique. In the main rotunda, enjoy live music from the Skylight Music Theatre and free samples from Roll MKE and Potato Baby. Cash bar and food are available. Proceeds go to the theaters. Supported in part by UPAF. For tickets, visit artmilwaukee.com/interact.html. (John Schneider)


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