The New York Times Review of David Mamet's 'Glengarry Glen Ross' is up after great delay, and the results aren't pretty. On December 3, Charles Isherwood took aim at the play for avoiding critical scrutiny the first six weeks of its run, but this past weekend, Ben Brantley unapologetically panned the 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, referring to it as a "deflated production."
"Glengarry," starring Al Pacino, was postponed for an entire month after Hurricane Sandy, an arguably long amount of time given most Broadway shows stopped for a mere day or two. Isherwood discerned foul play in the production's "egregious attempt to avoid critical scrutiny for mercenary reasons. The explanations given for the delay — the necessity for more rehearsal time — ring pretty hollow," he wrote in his "Theater Talkbalk" piece.
Isherwood also expressed disdain at theuse of Sandy as an excuse, explaining:
"What’s most galling about the postponement: the crass attempt to attribute a decision that I suspect was inspired by other factors to the disruption caused by the hurricane — a calamity that claimed many lives and caused billions of dollars in damage across the Eastern seaboard. In a word: tacky."
After the extended preview season the show was finally reviewed by Ben Brantley, who called the play's 2005 revival "superb." This this time around, however, Brantley was unmoved, comparing the drama revolving around four desperate Chicago real estate agents to "a long-running sitcom being filmed before a live audience that knows its characters’ signature tics and flourishes by heart." Its "comic shtick" and "obvious laughs" please an easy audience, according to Brantley, but are unimpressive to a critical eye.
Brantley was not the only critic disheartened by the recent Broadway production. Bloomberg's Jeremy Gerard called it "stilted and self-conscious," and The Telegraph's Sarah Crompton wrote that it was "deeply disappointing."
Will these bleak summations dissuade audiences from the chance to see Pacino in action for the sum of $167.75? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.