Glengarry Glen Ross at Main Street Playhouse Through May 19

"Contains strong language," warns the Main Street Players' website about its production of Glengarry Glen Ross. It's the understatement of the year. David Mamet has single-handedly defined how to curse artfully in the American theater. Glengarry Glen Ross, from 1984, is one of the acerbic playwright's most respected and most produced works, including a recent revival on Broadway, and its central themes anticipate the subprime mortgage crisis and toxic lending that led to the 2008 recession. The play plunges into the unscrupulous lives of a handful of Chicago real estate agents in their quests to hawk lousy properties to unwitting buyers. The scoundrels resort to bribery and burglary as they chase their American dreams and obtain their golden parachutes. Critics have posited that the setting of Glengarry Glen Ross is no less than a symbolic Hell on Earth, populated by sharks in expensive suits.

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John Thomason

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