Pin It

Plowing Ahead 

State of the Arts

click to enlarge sota-speedtheplow.jpg

Broadway’s most colorful recent scandal, “Sushi-gate,” unfolded when Jeremy Piven abruptly withdrew from David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, claiming mercury poisoning. Weybridge’s Melissa Lourie, artistic director of the Middlebury Actors Workshop, took in the revival just after the wasabi hit the fan. Ironically, the play skewers ego, power and relationships in Hollywood.

Says Lourie, “I made a point of seeing it partly because I knew that it had two strong male leading roles” — perfect for Middlebury’s Harry McEnerny and Shoreham’s Steve Small. The seasoned duo has been with MAW since its inception nine years ago. “I was looking for a vehicle for those two,” Lourie recalls. “They love working with each other, and so their rapport really shows on stage.”

Lourie directs this weekend’s production. “The tightness, the fast pace, the intensity” draw her to Mamet’s work, she explains. The dialogue is intricate and features plenty of cursing. But “profanity releases tons of energy, so it’s exciting,” she notes.

Like Glengarry Glen Ross and American Buffalo, Speed-the-Plow uses a business setting to explore raw human relationships. “Mamet probably believes that business defines what is most basic to human beings,” Lourie reflects, “this drive to succeed, drive to get ahead, drive to acquire power and money. And that distills some of the most brutal and most powerful impulses in humans. It strips away some of the niceties.”

Want to see for yourself?

Speed-the-Plow, directed by Melissa Lourie. Town Hall Theater, Middlebury. July 8-12, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. $17. Info, 382-9222 or click here.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Elisabeth Crean

About The Author

Elisabeth Crean


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Theater

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation