Fred Skeleton Theatre Company doesn’t pull any punches in its latest production, Glengarry Gary Ross.
It opened at Creekside Theatre in Lake Country on Thursday, continued there on Friday, and wraps up at Rotary Centre for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 10-12. Tickets are available through Kelowna Tickets at 250-862-2867 and at the box office, 100-2600 Enterprise Way in Kelowna.
Freddy, as the company has been nicknamed, has certainly provided the Okanagan with shows that “push boundaries, stretch limits, and introduce the audience to the surprising, the strange and the wonderful.”
David Manet won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his play which was turned into a 1992 American drama film starring acting award winners Jack Lemmon and Al Pacino.
Both the play and film depict two days in the chaotic lives of four Arizona real estate salesmen pedalling two residential developments, Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms. Both the play and film gained notoriety for their extensive use of profanity but are considered “master works of modern theatre about greed, desperation and ruthless ambition.”
The play begins with a series of three couplets as the salesmen, their handler and a potential buyer are introduced.
Don Plant as Shelley Levene is the epitome of desperation as he fights with smarmy office handler Adam Weaver playing John Williamson for leads on possible purchasers. “I need a shot,” he pleads. “Give me a chance.”
In the second encounter at the same restaurant tables, Neville Bowman as the coniving Dave Moss and Brandon Shalansky as unwitting victim George Aaronow discuss breaking into their office overnight, stealing the leads and selling them to a competitor.
In the third sequence, Chris Froese as the ebullient salesman Richard Roma sweet talks Frank Takacs as the pliable customer James Lingk. Brent Sharpe rounds out the cast as the police detective investigating the break-in during the second act set in the real estate office.
These are indeed challenging roles to play since the emotions from each actor run the gamut of aggressive behaviors with a plethura of profanity. This is definitely adult-only and not for those who cringe at f-bomb-laced confrontation.
That being said, when the actors look like and act like they are having fun, they take you along for this 90-minute shock talk. It’s not only thought-provoking but a fascinating character study as emotions run wild.
And as Roma says at one point: “It’s a carnival.” Plus there is a surprise ending.
Thursday night’s opening had the audience mesmerized. And like all theatrical productions, Glengarry Glen Ross is bound to improve with repeat performances.
J.P. Squire is a retired reporter with The Kelowna Daily Courier.