Enjoy Speed The Plow New York

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speed the plow new york link

Ethel Barrymore Theater

243 West 47th Street

90 minutes with no intermission

October 23, 2008

Broadway Play (dark comedy)

History :: Now Playing :: Schedule :: Reviews

Speed the Plow New York was first seen in Broadway at the Royale Theater in 1988. The cast consisted of Joe Mantgna as Gould, Ron Silver as Fox and Madonna as Secretary Karen. The play is the creation of David Mamet.

Story, Cast And Critics

Speed the Plow New York is considered as one of the funniest works of Mamet as the characters play for low stakes. The characters fight over movie deals and their gross percentages. The play reveals the temptation of the movie producers Bobby and Fox to make it big in Hollywood. They dream to make a blockbuster with a fairly simple script and a big name actor. In the midst of this plan the temporary secretary Karen Moss enters the scene. Their plan gets affected by their gamble over who will get the girl first in bed. Karen Moss takes advantage of the scenario and her own motives to make movies are revealed. This play shows the struggle over power, sex, action, greed and satisfaction.

The Man Himself

David Mamet as an essayist, playwright, screenwriter and film director is known for his dialogues, stylized phrasing and exploration of men. David’s earlier works include the Duck Variations, Glengarry Glen Ross (won the Pulitzer award), Sexual Perversity in Chicago, American Buffalo, Boston Marriage, Cryptogram (won the Obie award). As a screenwriter he was nominated for Oscar awards for The Verdict (1982) and Wag the Dog (1997). His characters can frequently be seen cut short each another, their sentences left half done and their dialogues overlapping. David is known for his witty dialogues which keep the audience intrigued. He has written several successful plays about business. He is known for his rapid fire dialogue and in Speed the Plow New York he talks about the nature of business in the movie industry and in Hollywood. This phrase arises from an old English phrase which confers good luck and means swift plowing.

According to Robert Brustein in the New Republic, David has an ear for language in this play where he takes an economical way to advance his plot and also conveys the message without shifting away from his strong purpose. Jack Kroll of Newsweek says that there is not even a single line in the play which is serious or insane. Some critics felt that Speed the Plow New York is just a slight variation of his earlier works while others feel the play is enriched with a deeper meaning.

The Cast

Speed the Plow New York was a huge success even before the opening night as the role of Karen was played by pop star Madonna. The ticket sales were huge with advanced sales going for over $1million. In September 1988 the entire original star cast left the team and new cast included a professional actress for Karen. In 2008 the show was played at London’s Vic Theater where Kevin Spacey played the role of Fox, Laura Michelle Kelly played the character of Karen and Jeff Goldblum was Gould. Designers Scott Pask, Brian MacDevitt (lighting designer) and Laura Bauer (costume designer) won the Tony award twice.

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