The Jungle Theater, 10/3/07: David Mamet had written several screenplays (The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, House of Games) by the time he wrote Speed-the-Plow in 1988; he has since written many more. His view of Hollywood is not rosy. A morality play, Speed-the-Plow explores why Hollywood makes so many horrible movies, using as a lens the complicated relationship between a studio executive named Bobby Gould and an ambitious agent, Charlie Fox.
Speed-the-Plow is the second-to-last play in the Jungle's 2007 season. Directed by Bain Boehlke, the theater's artistic director, with Tim McGee as Gould, Steve Sweere as Fox, and Heidi Bakke as Karen, the temporary secretary who nearly derails Fox's big plans, it's a two-hour play that seemed to last ten minutes. Rapid-fire dialog, unfinished sentences, savage language, macho posturing, and manic intensity moved things right along. Peppered with verbal buckshot, we left happy. Okay, maybe not happy, but very glad we'd seen the play, grim and ruthless as it is. Thank you for the tickets, Susan!
Mamet also wrote the screenplay to one of my all-time favorite movies, Ronin. He was called in to doctor the original screenplay by J.D. Zeik, and he used the pseudonym Richard Weisz.
The David Mamet Society