THE MAIN EVENT

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Little Mountain Gallery & Main Street Theatre present THE ODD COUPLE by Neil Simon. HELD OVER to Dec. 10, 2013 (no show Dec. 2 or 9). 7:30 PM (Doors @ 7:00). Little Mountain Gallery. Directed by Stephen Malloy. Starring Ryan Beil and Mike Wasko. With Lindsey Angell, Josh Drebit, Kyle Jespersen, Sebastian Kroon, Michael P. Northey, and Melanie Reich. Ticket reservations: (604) 992-2313. More >>

HEADLINES

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Come join Main Street Theatre for a staged reading of Alex Lazardis Ferguson's new play PROXIMITY. Sat. May 11 at 8:00 PM (Doors @ 7:30). ADMISSION BY DONATION.

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Main Street Theatre presents a staged reading of HOME ALONE the classic holiday movie! Thurs. Dec. 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM (doors open at 9). Tickets by donation.

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Main Street Theatre presents... IT'S ABOUT TIME by Patrick Keating. Sun. Nov. 25 at 8 PM. Little Mountain Gallery. Also featuring: a curtain warmer by Charles Demers. Tickets by donation. For reservations call: (604) 992-2313.

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event image Congratulations to Sasa Brown who has been nominated for a Jessie Richardson Award for her Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Main Street Theatre's Endgame! Visit the Jessies.

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The Vancouver Courier spotlighted Main Street Theatre in their best of 2012: "Main Street Theatre squeezed us all into its tiny venue for a real treat in April. Directed by Stephen Malloy, this scrappy young company produced Endgame with ash-covered Nagg (Daryl King) and Nell (Sasa Brown) imprisoned in trashcans by their son Hamm (Josh Drebit). At his beck and call was Ryan Beil as Clov. Known for productions of David Mamet's plays, this small company proved once again its versatility and virtuosity with Beckett's apocalyptic tale. Read more: Vancouver Courier

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FunFunFun Vancouver says "everything...about this production was simply brilliant. The staging was phenomenal, and the acting was just incredible."

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The Vancouver Sun says that we're "Shaking it up: Samuel Beckett’s classic Endgame highlights Tremors theatre festival".

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The Province picks Main Street's Endgame as one of the top Top 10 shows to see this spring. "This staging of Samuel Beckett’s play is the latest from the punching-above-its weight Main Street Theatre Company". Read it on The Province.

Main Street Theatre's Endgame part of Vancouver's 2012 Tremors Festival! Visit Tremors at Rumble.

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"Terrific play. Terrific production". Read reviews of True West

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Thanks to everyone who supported us at our Halloween Party/Fundraiser! The STAR CAPTAINS played and Red Truck beer and Barefoot wine was served. Best costume prize went to Mike Wasko!
See our Party Photos

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event imageJosh Drebit, Daryl King and Ryan Beil accept Jessie Richardson awards on behalf of Stephen Malloy (Best Director) and Barbara Pollard (Best Supporting Actress) for Main Street's Production of A Lie of the Mind. (Photograph by: Thor-Sten 2011) Visit the Jessies website

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event imageThe Jessie Richardson Awards committee applauds Main Street Theatre's production of A Lie of the Mind with 6 award nominations including Best Director, 4 Best Performances and Best Production! Visit the Jessies website

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Peter Birnie, Theatre critic for the Vancouver Sun writes about Main Street Theatre's production of A Lie of the Mind, "Stephen Malloy directs a strong cast who, to a man and woman, understand that this masterpiece of manipulation sneaks its subtle ideas into our subconscious by shouting them out." Read review

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Andrea Rabinovitch reviews for The Vancouver Observer "...an evening of theatre that is compelling, entertaining and hip...like a partnered dance that flows between scenes nailing the humour and the pathos in equal measure...a truly excellent event." Read review

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"Main Street Equity Co-op has done it again...Wouldn’t it be great if the Main Street gang could give us an entire season of Shepard and Mamet rather than just one a year?  But let’s not get greedy." Continue to read Jerry Wasserman's (vancouverplays.com) review of Lie of the Mind.

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"Fine direction, strong performances...once the actor has grasped the character, he or she can just let it rip. And rip they do." Read Jo Ledingham's (Vancouver Courier) review

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We boxed for your money!!! The card was full and there were three bouts. Thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support! "The only way to teach these people, is to punch them..." Click here to see live event photos by Emily Cooper.

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Main Street Theatre Fight Night/Fundraiser/Extravaganza!!!!! Sunday, Oct. 24 at the Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Ave.Doors @ 7:30 and the fights start @ 9:00pm! We are boxing for your money!!! The card is full and there are three bouts: Josh "The Hebrew Hammer" Drebit Vs. Charlie "Norris" Gallant; Ian "The Butcher" Butcher Vs. Andrew "What's My Name" McNee; AND THE MAIN EVENT: Daryl "The Animal Mother" King Vs. Ryan "The Teen Burger" Beil. It's going to be a great party. Boxing, Red Truck Beer, Bearflag vino and THE STAR CAPTAINS! THE STAR CAPTAINS will play when the fights are done. Door is by donation. Funds go toward our upcoming production of A LIE OF THE MIND November 19th-December 4th @ Little Mtn Gallery.

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event imageMain Street Theatre's American Buffalo is nominated for three 2010 Jessie Richardson Awards: Best Production; Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Ryan Beil); Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Daryl King).

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American Buffalo: Main Street Theatre's sold-out benefit show for Haiti raises $1100! The money donated by our supporters was matched by the Federal Government of Canada.

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event imageMain Street Theatre's Glengarry Glen Ross is nominated for two 2009 Jessie Richardson Awards! One for Best Production. The other for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor - Alex Ferguson for Ricky Roma.

Main Street Theatre: Archives

event imagePROXIMITY by Alex Lazardis Ferguson
A staged reading of a new play
Saturday, May 11, 2013
8:00 PM
(Doors @ 7:30)  
Little Mountain Gallery

Starring: Ryan Beil, Delia Brett, Josh Drebit, Patrick Keating, Daryl King & Juno Ruddell
Directed by: Alex Lazardis Ferguson 

ADMISSION BY DONATION | Beer & Wine $4

 

event image Main Street Theatre presents
a staged reading of
HOME ALONE
the classic holiday movie!

Thursday, December 12, 2012
9:30 PM (doors open at 9) 

Starring:

Ryan Beil and Josh Drebit as the Burglars, Kayvon Kelly as Macauley, Kathy Duborg as Catherine O'Hara, Daryl King as the Dad, Mike Wasko as the mean older brother, Patrick Keating as the crazy neighbour AND MANY MANY MORE!!!

ADMISSION BY DONATION
Festive Holiday Drinks and Treats available!

DON'T MISS OUT

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

 

event imageMain Street Theatre presents...
IT'S ABOUT TIME

A staged reading of a new work by Main Street's own Patrick Keating
Performed by Patrick Keating
Directed by Stephen Malloy

Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 8 PM
Little Mountain Gallery

Also featuring:

A curtain warmer by Charles Demers, one of the funniest men in Vancouver - a much-loved stand up comedian.

And entr'acte:

Max Zipursky, one of Vancouver's hottest new players from The Star Captains, will entertain us on piano.

Tickets by donation
For reservations call: (604) 992-2313

 

event imageENDGAME (presented as part of Vancouver's 2012 Tremors Festival)
by Samuel Beckett
Directed and designed by Stephen Malloy
April 19-28, 2012
7:00 PM
(Preview - April 18; Late Show - April 27, 10 PM)

Little Mountain Gallery
, 26th and Main
Vancouver, CANADA
Tickets: $15 (+ s/c) at the Cultch box office
Tremors Festival passes also available - $40 + s/c
Contact the Cultch box office at tickets.thecultch.com or 604.251.1363

event imageCongratulations to Sasa Brown who has been nominated for her Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Main Street Theatre's Endgame. Visit the Jessies.

ENDGAME Photos

photo imageRyan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Sasa Brown
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Sasa Brown
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Sasa Brown
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Stephen Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit,
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Sasa Brown
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Stephen Malloy
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photo image(L-R) , Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit
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photo imageBack: Director Stephen Malloy; Fore: Daryl King Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
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photo imageJosh Drebit
Photo: Stephen Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit
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ENDGAME Press Release

ENDGAME Poster

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Poster designed by Chris Kuzma

ENDGAME Previews & Reviews

ENDGAME PREVIEW:

Shaking it up: Samuel Beckett’s Classic Endgame highlights Tremors Theatre Festival

Samuel Beckett classic Endgame an intimate affair. Cosy venue makes an exciting event for actors in Tremors festival production

By Sarah Berman, Vancouver, Sun April 4, 2012
vancouversun.com

Tremors Festival
April 10 to April 28
The Cultch and Little Mountain Studios
Tickets: from $15, go to tickets.thecultch.com or call 604 251-1363
Endgame
Little Mountain Studios, 26th and Main
April 18-28, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15, go to tickets.thecultch.com or call 604 251-1363

VANCOUVER — Ryan Beil is ready for his close-up. As part of the Tremors contemporary theatre festival, Beil will help stage an exceptionally cosy performance of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.

It bridges the gap into film and television when you shove it right in their face.

“There’s something to be said about putting theatre in a more intimate environment,” Beil says of Little Mountain Studios, the art gallery where Main Street Theatre has practised and performed since 2008. “It bridges the gap into film and television when you shove it right in their face.”

With just 50 seats, the venue guarantees a detailed view of the action. “I like to walk into a space as an audience member and not really know how it’s all going to work out,” says Beil, who has a background in improv and comedy.

Walking into Little Mountain there’s a strange atmosphere... it’s very exciting.

]“In a proper theatre you know exactly how it works. You’re a safe distance away, the lights are going to come down and you’re going to be there for a couple hours. Walking into Little Mountain there’s a strange atmosphere. People are crushed together and it’s very exciting.”

Beil plays the part of Clov, a servant who schleps from wall to wall, satisfying the futile whims of his master Hamm. Directed by Stephen Malloy and co-starring Sasa Brown, Josh Drebit, and Daryl King, the production flaunts a dark, humorous streak.

Waiting for Godot gets done a lot more,” Beil says of the Beckett canon. “But I think Endgame is his best work.”

Endgame will also mark Little Mountain’s first theatre production as a legally zoned performance space. Functioning for many years as an underground artist collective, it has been transformed into a legitimate all-ages venue.

We’ve been lucky enough to garner an audience who aren’t traditional theatre-goers, just young people who happen to go see plays

“I was born and raised in Vancouver, so I went to Little Mountain for shows when it was called the Butcher Shop,” Beil says. “I remember the good old days.”

We’ve been lucky enough to garner an audience who aren’t traditional theatre-goers, just young people who happen to go see plays,

Through Little Mountain, Beil and his company have introduced their personal take on classics to a new generation of music, art and television fans. “We’ve been lucky enough to garner an audience who aren’t traditional theatre-goers, just young people who happen to go see plays,” says Beil.

REVIEW by
BY JO LEDINGHAM
The Vancouver Courier

...this small company proved once again its versatility and virtuosity

Main Street Theatre squeezed us all into its tiny venue for a real treat in April. Directed by Stephen Malloy, this scrappy young company produced Endgame with ash-covered Nagg (Daryl King) and Nell (Sasa Brown) imprisoned in trashcans by their son Hamm (Josh Drebit). At his beck and call was Ryan Beil as Clov. Known for productions of David Mamet's plays, this small company proved once again its versatility and virtuosity with Beckett's apocalyptic tale.

"" Read more: Vancouver Courier

 

REVIEW by

Fun! Fun! Vancouver!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Endgame (at Little Mountain Gallery to April 28)

Well, this play sure fucked me up. 

Well, this play sure fucked me up. 

I'm not a fan of Samuel Beckett, after once trying to sit through a production of Waiting For Godot. So when I heard that Main Street Theatre was doing a Beckett play, I was highly skeptical. However, I had heard so many good things about Main Street Theatre and the tiny space that is the Little Mountain Gallery, that I just HAD to go. 

everything...about this production was simply brilliant. The staging was phenomenal, and the acting was just incredible.

And boy am I glad I did! The play is called Endgame, and yeah, I totally did not get its meaning, and I definitely need to Wikipedia the shit out of it in a bit, but everything else about this production was simply brilliant. The staging was phenomenal, and the acting was just incredible. It was creepy and captivating. The space felt like we were in some post-apocalyptic bunker with the last four remaining humans on Earth. We had Hamm, a wheelchair-bound blind guy who ordered around his helper/slave Clov, who dutifully carries out his wishes. They are joined by Hamm's legless parents, Nagg and Nell. Obviously you can see why this play messed with my mind and I need to come down from the sci-fi freakiness of it all. 

I was literally on the edge of my seat

This was the scariest thing I've ever seen in live theatre. I was literally on the edge of my seat, because I was terrified! This is one of the two shows that will be rounding out the Tremors Festival this week, so hurry and get a ticket before it's all over! It's definitely an exciting time in Vancouver's indie theatre scene this month!

"" More at: funfunvancouver

Endgame delivers shabby apocalypse
BY JERRY WASSERMAN, SPECIAL TO THE PROVINCE APRIL 23, 2012

“There’s nothing funnier than unhappiness,” says Nell, poking her head out of a garbage can in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. There’s an awful lot of unhappiness in Beckett’s absurd scenario of humankind at the end of days. Main Street Theatre’s production of the play for the Tremors Festival also finds some of the fun in it, but don’t expect belly laughs.

Clov has to stoop to keep from bumping his head on the ceiling and hardly has room to wheel Hamm around his tiny domain.

Apocalypse has never looked shabbier than in the claustrophobic confines of Little Mountain Gallery, the weary storefront just off Main Street where this company has staged dynamic productions of David Mamet and Sam Shepard over the past few years. Director/designer Stephen Malloy has built a high platform on which blind, wheelchair-bound Hamm and his reluctant servant Clov play out their final hours in what might be a bomb shelter. Clov has to stoop to keep from bumping his head on the ceiling and hardly has room to wheel Hamm around his tiny domain.

“Something is taking its course,” remarks Clov. That something, in Beckett’s grim existential vision, might just be life. (It might also be radiation poisoning, the play having premiered in 1957 at the height of the Cold War.) Just as in Waiting for Godot, no saviour is coming to the rescue: “You’re on earth, there’s no cure for that.”

Hamm keeps his dying parents, Nagg and Nell, in garbage cans, an apt metaphor for the indignities of age. Crippled Hamm himself regularly asks Clov for painkiller. But there’s none of that, either.

There is, though, memory (“Ah, yesterday,” Nell sighs), the need for company, and the compulsion to self-justify. Hamm keeps telling a story about his generosity in agreeing to take in the young Clov. But Hamm’s life has been all about egotism, not altruism. And in the end does it really matter? Death may be terrifying but it will come as a relief. “When I fall,” says Clov, “I’ll weep for happiness.”

Sasa Brown’s breathy, gasping Nell is heartbreaking.

Ryan Beil is very good as Clov, mechanically deadpan except when the bitterness he barely holds in check sporadically explodes. Though Beil is the company’s primo comedian, Josh Drebit’s Hamm has most of the funny stuff, commenting on the quality of his own storytelling in nicely understated asides. But Hamm is also a ham, and Drebit’s performance is so contained that we miss the fun his pomposity ought to provide. Alongside Daryl King’s incessantly angry Nagg, Sasa Brown’s breathy, gasping Nell is heartbreaking.

If the Canucks’ season ended earlier than you hoped, seeing how this game ends might put that in perspective.

Where: Little Mountain Gallery, 195 E. 26th Ave.
When: To April 28
Tickets: $15 at 604-251-1363 or www.tickets.thecultch.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

event imageTrue West
by Sam Shepard
Directed and designed by Stephen Malloy
November 29-December 10, 2011
7:30 PM
Preview: November 28
No show December 5
Little Mountain Studio, 26th and Main, Vancouver, CANADA
Pay What You Can (Suggested $20)
Ticket reservation: 604-992-2313

Directed and designed by Stephen Malloy. Starring Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit, Daryl King, and Barbara Pollard. Stage managed by Stephanie Meine.

For tickets call: 604-992-2313.

TRUE WEST Photos

photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Daryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit, Daryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit, Daryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Ryan Beil
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Daryl King, Barbara Pollard
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Barbara Pollard
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Daryl King
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Ryan Beil
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Ryan Beil
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photo image Daryl King
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Daryl King
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TRUE WEST Press Release

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TRUE WEST Poster

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Poster designed by Chris Kuzma

TRUE WEST Reviews

True West filled with menace, death of American Dream
by Vancouver Courier's Jo Ledingham

At Little Mountain Studios until Dec. 10
Tickets: 604-992-2313.
Pay-what-you-can ($20 suggested)

From the very first lines, we get the picture...

No one can string humour, menace, violence and death of the American Dream along a high-tension wire like American playwright Sam Shepard can. From the very first lines, we get the picture: brothers Austin, a screenwriter of romantic Hollywood schlock, and Lee, a drifter with a penchant for B&E, square off in their mother's immaculate L.A. kitchen. She's off on a cruise to Alaska, trusting Austin, who lives with his wife and kids elsewhere, to look after her house and houseplants. Lee, in filthy clothes, turns up out of nowhere.

Terrific play. Terrific production.

In the excellent introduction to the Bantam edition of Sam Shepard: Seven Plays, Richard Gilman points out one of Shepard's recurrent themes: the assertion of the untaught self. This is especially true in True West. Austin has gone to college, but Lee has learned his chops by living alone in the Mojave Desert.

But what Shepard most markedly mourns in this play is the perversion of the true west where men pitted themselves against the elements and each other.

...this is a muscular, sinewy, sometimes scary production.

Directed by Stephen Malloy for Main Street Theatre, this is a muscular, sinewy, sometimes scary production. Lee, energetically portrayed by Daryl King, is an IED waiting to be triggered. King, eventually bare-chested and sweaty, hurls himself physically into the play. In the tiny Little Mountain Studio space, it's so in your face you might get toast in your lap.

...it's so in your face you might get toast in your lap.

Ryan Beil is conservative Austin who now and then ineffectually challenges his brother. Austin has a finely tuned sense of the absurd and Beil is an expert at delivering those lines with a loopy, lop-sided grin.

Josh Drebit plays the leisure-suited movie producer and Barb Pollard portrays the unfortunate mother of Lee and Austin who, when the shit hits the fan, behave like a couple of three-year-olds caught finger-painting over an original Picasso.

Terrific play. Terrific production.

-JL

joled@telus.net

Read more: http://www.vancourier.com

 

TRUE WEST
by Jerry Wasserman, vancouverplays.com

The Main Street boys are back at it. Working out of that tiny storefront at 26th and Main, Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit, Daryl King and director Stephen Malloy continue their exploration of late 20th century American naturalism and post-absurdism.  Having done two Mamets, they’re now on their second Shepard and will follow up next spring by looking back at one of the tributaries of this kind of theatre with a production of Beckett’s Endgame.

The signature quality of their work—in addition to strong acting—resides in their creative use of the space with its powerful intimacy and in-yer-face feel.

The signature quality of their work—in addition to strong acting—resides in their creative use of the space with its powerful intimacy and in-yer-face feel. The room itself is gritty and functional. All the lights are practicals; set doorways are the audience’s entrances and exits. None of the 50-60 seats is more than ten feet or so from the action so there’s no margin for cheating in performance. Onstage violence puts audience members at direct risk. The verisimilitude of the space and the sense of being literally in the midst of the action are a big part of the audience’s fun.

True West (1980) is probably Sam Shepard’s most often produced play with its small cast, simple kitchen set and Shepard’s familiar-yet-strange pop existentialism and American Western faux-mythicizing.  The Playhouse did it a couple of years back and I myself was in a production at the Havana in 2004 with David and Gerry Mackay as complementary brothers Austin and Lee. Malloy’s version offers nothing radically new but delivers Main Street’s usual visceral good time.

Ryan Beil plays Austin, an Ivy League educated Hollywood screenwriter staying at his mother’s house in Southern California while she’s on holiday in Alaska. Austin is trying to finish the script of a Western for producer Saul Kimmer (Josh Drebit, resplendent in period leisure suit). When bad-boy brother Lee (Daryl King) shows up after years away, much of it living out on the desert where their drunken father also dwells, sibling rivalry explodes.

B&E artist Lee somehow produces a screenplay to rival Austin’s and bests Saul on the golf course; Austin, hungry for Lee’s authenticity, steals a myriad of toasters from neighboring homes. Much yelling, smashing and fighting ensues, and wacko Mom (Barbara Pollard) returns home to visions of chaos and Picasso.

...the Main Streeters keep it funny, fresh and sufficiently weird. It’s a pleasure getting up close and personal with them again.

Surely one reason Beil lends his talents to this company is the opportunity he gets to play roles outside the comic-eccentric mode at which he is so brilliant and in which he has to some extent been typecast. Austin is the more normal of the brothers and Beil nicely underplays him throughout—at least until his desperation for the “real” he sees in Lee breaks through his civilized veneer.

Lee is the more difficult role and King struggles a bit with it. Stretching to seem like a thug in a contemporary Western, he affects an attitude and vocal mannerisms that didn’t work at all for me. Fortunately, his menacing presence and fully committed physical business in Act Two make you forget and forgive any earlier acting issues. This Lee feels genuinely scary and dangerous. You might think twice about sitting in the first row after intermission.

Although the play has a period quality—remember manual typewriters and typewriter ribbons?—the Main Streeters keep it funny, fresh and sufficiently weird. It’s a pleasure getting up close and personal with them again.

Jerry Wasserman

 

 

 

 

event imageA Lie of the Mind
by Sam Shepard
Directed and designed by Stephen Malloy
November 19-December 4, 2010
7:00 PM
Preview: November 18
No shows November 22 & 29
Little Mountain Studio, 26th and Main, Vancouver, CANADA
Pay What You Can (Suggested $15)
Ticket reservation: 604-992-2313

Directed and designed by Stephen Malloy. Starring Rebecca Auerbach, Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit, Kathleen Duborg, Lara Gilchrist, Patrick Keating, Daryl King, and Barbara Pollard. Stage managed by Stephanie Meine.

event imageThe Jessie Richardson Awards committee applauded Main Street Theatre's production of A Lie of the Mind with 6 Jessie award nominations including Best Production, Best Director (Stephen Malloy), 4 Best Performances (Kathleen Duborg, Lara Gilchrist, Patrick Keating and Barbara Pollard).

Congratulations to Stephen Malloy (Best Director) and Barbara Pollard (Best Supporting Actress) who won their Jessie awards!

LIE OF THE MIND Photos

photo image(L-R) Lara Gilchrist, Daryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Lara Gilchrist, Ryan Beil, Patrick Keating, Kathleen Duborg
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Lara Gilchrist, Patrick Keating, Kathleen Duborg
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photo image(L-R) Lara Gilchrist, Ryan Beil, Patrick Keating, Josh Drebit
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Lara Gilchrist, Ryan Beil
Photo: Stephen Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Daryl King, Lara Gilchrist
Photo: Stephen Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Ryan Beil, Lara Gilchrist
Photo: Stephen Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Lara Gilchrist, Ryan Beil, Daryl King
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LIE OF THE MIND Poster

LIE OF THE MIND Press Release

LIE OF THE MIND Reviews

""REVIEW The right mix of laughter and lunacy: Sam Shephard's tale of a disastrous relationship and its effect on two families is a fascinating study of yin and yang

By PETER BIRNIE, VANCOUVER SUN November 21, 2010

When: 7 p.m., to Dec. 4
Where: Little Mountain Gallery, 26th at Main
Tickets: pay what you can ($15 suggested), go to mainstreettheatre.ca or call 604-992-2313
""Read review online

Sam Shepard is one of those people who picks at his scars, never letting a wound heal. Deeply flawed to begin with, characters in Shepard's plays only grow more manic as they flail in ignorance against forces far bigger than themselves.

Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op presents a production of A Lie of the Mind, Shepard's blistering 1985 dissection of a disastrous relationship and its resonance in two screwed-up families, with a keen eye to capturing the chaos of the play. In the company's raw and appropriately unadorned space off Main Street, a deliberately ungainly staging and pace help hone the sense of unease (make that dis-ease) infecting everyone in Shepard's weird world.

Stephen Malloy directs a strong cast who, to a man and woman, understand that this masterpiece of manipulation sneaks its subtle ideas into our subconscious by shouting them out.

Stephen Malloy directs a strong cast who, to a man and woman, understand that this masterpiece of manipulation sneaks its subtle ideas into our subconscious by shouting them out. As Shepard takes his wildest trip into the Wild West psyche of the vast herds of Americans who don't have a clue what they're doing — yet stick like limpets to the bedrock of their beliefs — we are treated to overblown comedic caricatures that still, thanks to the actor/playwright's celebrated gift of the gab, resonate as real.

 

Josh Drebit takes a beefy physique and compresses it until his Jake seems ready to explode

 

Jake and Beth are husband and wife, at least until he beats her almost to death. Josh Drebit takes a beefy physique and compresses it until his Jake seems ready to explode; any attempt at help by Jake's brother (Ryan Beil), sister (Rebecca Auerbach) or mother (Barbara Pollard) is met with the very scary shiftings of a human bulldozer quite capable of crushing anyone in his path.

Gilchrist plays perfectly with Shepard's mix of real and surreal.

Lara Gilchrist's journey as Beth has the actress drifting through Shepard's many strange takes on brain damage with a riveting clarity. Whether Beth is babbling in apparent incoherence (but listen to her words: tearing at the bandages on her head, she asks, "Am I a mummy now? Am I a mummy?") or becoming all too madly focused on an obsession with Jake's brother, Gilchrist plays perfectly with Shepard's mix of real and surreal.

The couple's families are a fascinating study of yin and yang. Jake's father is dead, but looms huge as a typical Shepard male who screwed everyone and everything up — before being hit by a truck in the middle of a Mexican highway — while Beth's dad (Patrick Keating) is only as alive as it takes to hunt deer on his Montana property in a robotic approximation of manhood.

Jake's mother (Barbara Pollard) is eminently sensible, at least in convincing herself of all the lies needed to pretend that a lunatic son isn't, but Beth's mom (Kathleen Duborg) is instead an airy-fairy twit — unless you again pay attention to strange thoughts that actually make eminent sense in all this dysfunction — "Stop screaming! The walls can't take it!"

Pollard, Keating and Duborg are given a great forum for their talents

Pollard, Keating and Duborg are given a great forum for their talents, with the women offering especially compelling performances as they breathe real life into Shepard's beautiful ways with monologue or the back-and-forth of a dialogue. As Jake's brother, Beil is capable but constrained by a role rooted in tying together the two families; Daryl King instead gets to take Beth's brother on a broader arc from compassionate caregiver to a gun-nut bent on revenge.

...everyone is important in this magnificent ensemble piece, and director Malloy knows it.

Like Beil, Auerbach is hampered by having to play not much more than a foil for Drebit's boiling brother. Still, everyone is important in this magnificent ensemble piece, and director Malloy knows it.

He doesn't try to hide a lack of resources, placing the audience in two tiers facing each other and then keeping most of the action split between the families at opposite ends of the space. Scenes are broken by prolonged blackouts peppered with the bluegrass music Shepard always felt to be key to the blue-collar nature of his work, and the fact that none of these clumsy transitions is the same is proof of Malloy's appreciation for the symbolism to be conveyed by the awkward way the action unfolds.

...this production offers just the right mix of laughter and lunacy...

Schizophrenogenia is a big word with a simple meaning — your family can make you crazy. A Lie of the Mind pays horrifying tribute to that sad fact, and this production offers just the right mix of laughter and lunacy to prove Shepard's point.

Note the early curtain (thanks to cranky neighbours) and dress sensibly — the space is cold enough to resemble a cabin in the Montana woods.

Sun Theatre Critic
pbirnie@vancouversun.com
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

 

A Lie of the Mind puts the fun in family Dysfunction
Andrea Rabinovitch
The Vancouver Observer
Nov 23rd, 2010
"" Read review online

an evening of theatre that is compelling, entertaining and hip.

American playwright Sam Shepard, Main Street Theatre, Little Mountain Studio, all spell an evening of theatre that is compelling, entertaining and hip. Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind puts the fun in family dysfunction using iconic characters with a heavy dose of mental illness from cowboy country USA. If you have relatives from rural anywhere Canada, be prepared to recognize your Aunt Roberta’s husband Jim as well.

Director Stephen Malloy, part of the Main Street Theatre Equity Coop, which includes Daryl King, Ryan Beil, and Josh Drebit, directs with clarity and care a cast that is clearly having a blast. Juicy characters all, the choice of this particular play, offers Vancouver the opportunity to watch a Pulitzer awarded playwright (Buried Child) in an unusual setting.

on the first snow of the year, huddled people in their coats, mitts and gloves under provided blankets, [give] the feel of a campfire story hour.

Known for using the Little Mountain Studio in creative ways, the tiny space is configured this time by designer Malloy to have three playing areas. The placement of the audience creates an intimacy, because of the proximity to the actors, and also because the audience is facing each other. That makes the experience like watching a play in your living room. The temperature in the unheated room on the first snow of the year, huddled people in their coats, mitts and gloves under provided blankets, giving the feel of a campfire story hour.

Yes, a living room or a campfire, but with really fine actors telling the story of two families driven by ignorance and mental illness, but underneath it all, love.

Paranoid Jake (Josh Drebit) has beaten his wife Beth (Lara Gilchrist) so badly she has sustained a brain injury rendering her unable to walk or speak coherently. Jake’s brother Frankie is the first person that Jake calls, delusionally telling him that he’s killed his wife. Beth’s brother Mike (Daryl King) stands by his beloved sister in the hospital and at the parent’s ranch where father Baylor (Patrick Keating) and long suffering wife Meg (Kathleen Duborg) live together in a failing marriage. Jake and Frankie’s mother Lorraine (Barbara Pollard) enters to take care of Jake hoping to keep him safe locked up in his room while her daughter Sally (Rebecca Auerbach) hovers trying to find a relationship with her mother that doesn’t include a competitiveness that has Oedipus lurking in the corners. Everyone is searching for love and connection but messed up patterns of behaviour and id urges, what usually drives a Shepard play, get in the way.

...like a partnered dance that flows between scenes nailing the humour and the pathos in equal measure...

Malloy ensures that the actors honour the words and rhythm of the play like a partnered dance that flows between scenes nailing the humour and the pathos in equal measure. With truly hilarious turns, the actors play and push the language with delight keeping their characters’ motivations real.

Barbara Pollard’s Lorraine is particularily clear. We understand why she does absolutely everything in her world from living in denial about her son, scapegoating her daughter and holding onto a love for her ex-husband that becomes confused by her hatred of him. The poetry in the language is also well served by Pollard.

Kathleen Duborg’s Meg is a nuanced study in the vagueness of a simple mind that can articulate exactly what’s going on. Played against Keating’s bullying yet dependent patriarch, absolutely spot on for those of us with relatives like him, their relationship grounds the family in familiarity allowing the audience to examine their own families.

a truly excellent event.

Songs by the string band The Red Clay Ramblers, who created the music especially for an off Broadway production of A Lie of the Mind in the eighties, lead the scenes in and out brilliantly and the musician playing his guitar and singing Johnny Cash in the intermission lend itself to make for a truly excellent event.

Phone for reservations as the seating is limited:604-992-2313. Running till December 4th starting at 7:00pm. www.mainstreettheatre.ca

 

REVIEW

By JERRY WASSERMAN, VANCOUVERPLAYS November 24, 2010

A LIE OF THE MIND
by Sam Shepard
Directed by Stephen Malloy
Main Street Theatre
Little Mountain Studio
196 East 26th Ave. at Main St.
Nov. 18-Dec. 4, 7:00 PM (No shows Nov. 22 & 29)
Pay-what-you-can (suggested $15)
604.992.2313
www.mainstreettheatre.ca

Main Street Equity Co-op has done it again

Main Street Equity Co-op has done it again, this time with Sam Shepard rather than David Mamet. Shepard and Mamet were the twin towers of American theatre in the 1980s and ‘90s, revealing American culture and mores, greed and neuroses in all their non-glory.  Wouldn’t it be great if the Main Street gang could give us an entire season of Shepard and Mamet rather than just one a year?  But let’s not get greedy.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Main Street gang could give us an entire season of Shepard and Mamet rather than just one a year?  But let’s not get greedy.

Director Stephen Malloy (my colleague in Theatre at UBC) adeptly stages Shepard’s family saga in the tiny storefront at 26th and Main, configuring the space in an alley style with the action taking place between the two sides of the audience and in the two family homes at either end.  At one end is Jake (Josh Drebit), his brother (Ryan Beil), sister (Rebecca Auerbach), and mother (Barbara Pollard).  At the other, in a Montana ranch house, is Jake’s wife Beth (Lara Gilchrist), convalescing from the terrible beating he’s given her because she goes to rehearsals for plays and Jake thinks she must be doing it with all the guys. Beth is staying with her brother (Daryl King), father (Patrick Keating) and mother (Kathleen Duborg). 

The intimacy of the Little Mountain space is part of what makes these shows work so well.  The domestic scenes in Jake’s bedroom and the other family’s living room are very effective here.  But there’s an epic quality to Shepard’s play (that’s not in Mamet), which we miss in this cramped space.  I still have vivid images of Larry Lillo’s production on the Playhouse stage twenty years ago, which began his tenure as Artistic Director.  The mythic expansiveness of Shepard’s vision that was so evident there is absent here.  Otherwise, this is a stunningly good production.

The performances here are remarkable

A Lie of the Mind is essentially a love story, the two lovers both having to work around the lies their minds tell them: Beth because of the brain damage inflicted on her by the man she loves, Jake because of what he’s done to the woman he adores (he thinks he’s killed her).  The performances here are remarkable, both in their internalized anguish and their intense physicalization.  Drebit plays Jake as an explosive chunk of rage and confusion; Gilchrist offers an astonishing embodiment of a woman struggling through terror, pain and emotional scar tissue.  Beth occupies the thematic centre of the play and Gilchrist absolutely makes this her show in the face of some pretty remarkable performances.

The ensemble’s the thing for the Main Street Co-op.

The parents in Shepard’s family plays tend to be total wack-jobs, and the three in Lie are no exception. Full credit to Pollard, Keating and Duborg for capturing the almost surreal extremity of their characters while grounding them in convincing psychological realism.  All three are also very funny.  The brothers and sisters are more moderate characters and tend to act as mediators, leaving them less dramatically interesting.  King, Auerbach and Beil nevertheless give them full value.  I love the fact that Ryan Beil, one of the real stars of Vancouver theatre, takes such a secondary role here (and of course plays it with complete conviction).  The ensemble’s the thing for the Main Street Co-op.

one of the best shows of the year.

Malloy marks scene changes with some very cool country music, and live music is performed at every intermission.  The theatre is very cold, so dress warm and maybe bring a blanket.  It’s worth a little bit of suffering to see one of the best shows of the year.

""Read review online

REVIEW

Shepard play explores gritty landscape of dysfunctional families, dirty secrets:

Fine direction, strong performances make difficult subject matter more relatable

By Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier November 26, 2010 8:21 AM

A LIE OF THE MIND
At Little Mountain Studio until Dec. 4
Tickets: 604.992.2313
mainstreettheatre.ca

A Lie of the Mind is disturbingly, provocatively, classic Sam Shepard

A Lie of the Mind is disturbingly, provocatively, classic Sam Shepard: lower/middle class America, dysfunctional families, sibling rivalry and dirty secrets that sprawl across the American West. Jake (Josh Drebit) even wraps himself in the Stars and Stripes when he heads out to find Beth (Lara Gilchrist)), the wife he thinks he has finally beaten to death. Beth's brother Mike (Daryl King) uses/abuses that same flag by leashing Jake with it and making him crawl on all fours, piggy-style. And finally, Old Glory is ceremoniously folded by Beth's father (Patrick Keating) with the help of her mother (Kathleen Duborg) in a way that implies they believe all's well with America.

once the actor has grasped the character, he or she can just let it rip. And rip they do.

This is familiar Shepard landscape delivered with withering dark humour that leaves you shaking your head. It's an actor's playground where each character is so meticulously crafted with psychological quirks--or downright psychoses--that once the actor has grasped the character, he or she can just let it rip. And rip they do.

If you've ever wondered just how much love can hurt, A Lie of the Mind is here to tell you. Jake is so certain Beth is getting it on with another man, that he tries to beat the truth out of her. Fortunately, we don't see the beating but meet Jake confessing later to his brother Frankie (Ryan Beil) that he has killed her. Beth has actually survived but is brain damaged and is being looked after by her family. Unaware, Jake collapses, goes into a deep depression and is cared for by his mother (Barbara Pollard) and sister Sally (Rebecca Auerbach).

But these are not families where healing can happen. Jake's mother has an incestuous passion for her son. Pollard (famous for her role in various Mom's The Word shows) is outrageous in this role: abrasive, mouthy and in complete denial about her character's little boy. Auerbach simmers with rage over Jake's can-do-no-wrong relationship with their mother.

Beth's family is equally screwy: her mother has been so beaten down by Beth's father, she's almost not there. Duborg, her haired yanked back in bobby pins, looks vacant, broken and asks, when things get out of hand, "Don't scream in the house. It's very old."

Keating, as the father, scores a career best.

Keating, as the father, scores a career best. Small and sitting in an upholstered chair, he nevertheless is the man of the house, browbeating his wife and son. He is so demanding, all you can do is groan with laughter. King begins as Beth's protective brother Mike but ends up being downright scary.

Gilchrist and Drebit are the lovers that show us how destructive love can be. It's Othello meets the Hatfields and the McCoys in a package that smacks of Deliverance. Gilchrist amazes us with the fractured language that is all Beth's brain injury allows. But the damage is deeper, more profound than speech, and Gilchrist takes us there, too. Ironically, denied conversational skill, Beth sees some things more clearly. She's like a child--but sexually charged. Bad combination.

Beil is the character that seems most normal, but his character gets dragged into the mess and Beil, with his usual, low key performance, provides some very funny moments.

Drebit does a lot of heavy lifting in the role of Jake. He succeeds in getting us to loathe the violence in Jake, but he also manages to earn--to some small degree--our sympathy for a man so needy and so in love that he cries, "I love you more than life." He's a boy in a man's body.

Under Stephen Malloy's fine direction for Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op, Shepard does what he always does

Under Stephen Malloy's fine direction for Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op, Shepard does what he always does: distances us from his characters until we end up seeing, in small bits and pieces, ourselves in all of them--a neat, Sam Shepard trick.

""Read review online

 

REVIEW (end of 2010)

Shared experiences highlight year in theatre
Jo Ledingham, Special to Vancouver Courier Dec. 29, 2010
""Read review online

This seat-of-its-pants but loaded-with-talent company

...A couple of low tech (or no tech) shows that packed a punch were A Lie of the Mind and American Buffalo, both produced by Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op and directed by Stephen Malloy. This seat-of-its-pants but loaded-with-talent company really nailed the distinctive styles of American playwrights Sam Shepard and David Mamet, and the acting trio of Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil and Daryl King in both shows was dynamite. It's well worth shoehorning yourself into the tiny, slightly skuzzy Little Mountain Studio for anything that this company produces....

 

REVIEW (end of 2010)

Roller-coaster ride for actors and audiences alike during 2010
by Peter Birnie, Vancouver Sun, Dec. 31, 2010
""Read review online

Cutting corners can lead to creativity... and Main Street’s realization that its awkward space made a fitting visual reference to the chaos in Shepard’s story....

...In the last few weeks of the year, I’ve witnessed a trio of examples of this spirit. First up in October was the Fighting Chance Productions presentation of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street…Next, on consecutive November nights, was the wonderful one-two punch of Honest Fishmonger Equity Co-op’s take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, followed by Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op’s presentation of Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind… The Hamlet was darn clever and the Shepard damn gritty, and both productions shone despite having budgets measured in pennies. Cutting corners can lead to creativity... and Main Street’s realization that its awkward space made a fitting visual reference to the chaos in Shepard’s story.... Hey, let’s watch what happens when millionaire hockey players go up against a co-op cast and crew who split the evening’s take — ... pay-what-you-can for A Lie of the Mind. Who comes up with the most imaginative variation on Kraft Dinner with wieners?

 

 

 

 

event imageAmerican Buffalo
by David Mamet
Directed and Designed by Stephen Malloy
Stage Managed by Genevieve Bolduc
Props Design by Stephanie Meine
Starring Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit, and Daryl King
January 14-23, 2010 (Preview January 13) 8PM
Little Mountain Studio, 26th and Main, Vancouver, CANADA
Pay What You Can (Suggested $12)
Ticket reservation: 604-992-2313

event imageAmerican Buffalo was nominated for three Jessie Richardson Awards in 2010: Best Production; Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Ryan Beil); Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Daryl King).

AMERICAN BUFFALO Photos

photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King, Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Ryan Beil, Josh Drebit
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo imageRyan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo imageJosh Drebit
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo imageDaryl King
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit, Daryl King, Ryan Beil
Photo: Bronwyn Malloy
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AMERICAN BUFFALO Press Release

AMERICAN BUFFALO Poster

AMERICAN BUFFALO Reviews

Main Street hits Mamet spot on with presentation of American Buffalo
By Peter Birnie, Vancouver Sun Theatre Critic
January 16, 2010
''View online

AMERICAN BUFFALO

At Little Mountain Studio, 26th and Main, to Jan. 23

Tickets are pay-what-you-can ($12 suggested), call 604-992-2313

The thing with American Buffalo, you got to get the language right. Connective words like "is" and "have" always go missing in any David Mamet play, but this testy little treat from 1975 is absolutely riddled with the playwright's trademark chop-shop approach to sentence structure, not to mention his equally familiar faculty for overlapping obscenity-laden phrases.

...in the same crazy space they found around the corner from Main and 26th, magic is once again on offer for the lucky few who squeeze in to see it.

Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op made its debut last year in a stellar presentation of Glengarry Glen Ross, Mamet's magnum opus of testosterone-driven backstabbing by real-estate shysters. Now the company turns to a much smaller work, and in the same crazy space they found around the corner from Main and 26th, magic is once again on offer for the lucky few who squeeze in to see it.

Donny runs a junk shop. Teach tries to run Donny, and woe to the boy named Bobby who stands in his way.

The plot spins on a nickel, one which Donny let slip from his fingers. Was it a valuable old Indian-head coin, and should they go after the guy who paid Donny ninety bucks for it?

Director and designer Stephen Malloy first creates the perfect environment...

Director and designer Stephen Malloy first creates the perfect environment, as in perfectly awful, for his trio of losers to lose themselves in. Two banks of about 50 seats crowd around a suitably cluttered set, and no one in the audience is more than a metre or two from the action.

Then Malloy really proves his worth, directing his cast to not only spit dialogue but do so with a sharp sense of Mamet's gift for uncovering the reality in his rhythms. When the action opens on Josh Drebit as Donny counselling Daryl King's Bobby about eating a proper breakfast, Drebit sits settled into his weight, with words extruded as if by great effort, while King has the jitters of a jumpy youth who is brain-addled, drug-addicted, or both.

Enter Ryan Beil as Teach. Wide-eyed with eternal rage at all the slights he seems to suffer from every effing shmuck he meets on the street, Teach exudes a barely contained lunacy in Beil's gripping performance.

We're on Mamet's home turf in Chicago, but Malloy cleverly keeps his cast's accents away from some broad (make that braaawwwd) Chi-town stereotype. Beil works up a nasty whine, Drebit drips something that's almost Wisconsin and King keeps to the more Midwestern tones of a naive kid from the sticks.

They then display a keen understanding of the heirarchy of power here at the bottom of the American totem. Teach wields words like a broadsword, Donny beats back with stubborn resistance and Bobby greases the skids so his seemingly pathetic pleas for cash actually act as catalyst for the trouble to come.

This production offers the clearest interpretation I've ever seen of American Buffalo...Don't miss it.

This production offers the clearest interpretation I've ever seen of American Buffalo, illuminating a minor gem of modern American theatre until it sparkles, albeit darkly. Don't miss it.

Sun Theatre Critic,pbirnie@vancouversun.com

 

Meaty Mamet
By Jo Ledingham, Vancouver Courier Theatre Critic
January 20, 2010
''View Online

AMERICAN BUFFALO

At Little Mountain Studio (26th and Main) until Jan. 23

Tickets: 604.992.2313

Great news, David Mamet fans. Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op (producers of the critically acclaimedGlengarry Glen Ross in 2008) is back with a scorching production of American Buffalo. There's no getting away from Donnie (Josh Drebit), Teach (Ryan Beil) or Bob (Daryl King) in the tiny Little Mountain Studio. When Teach starts smashing up Donnie's junk store, look out.

Under Stephen Malloy's direction, this trio absolutely nails Mamet's distinctive style...

Under Stephen Malloy's direction, this trio absolutely nails Mamet's distinctive style: the stop/start dialogue, shifting hierarchies, words used like sledgehammers and the constant threat that verbal sparring will get physical. Which it does.

Mamet is not for the tenderhearted. The language is rough, and it's all about who gets to be the alpha male. In real life, that's a drag, but in Mamet's hands, it's exciting theatre.

In the play, Donnie sells an American nickel (the "buffalo") to a canny coin collector for 90 bucks. Later, Donnie thinks it was worth more and enlists the help of hapless, probably drug-addicted Bob to get it back. The plan is to break into the guy's house and snatch it. When Teach arrives, jumpy and mad after losing to "Ruthie" in an all-night poker game, the plan changes. And now there's a gun. "It's a silly personal thing. It's protection, a deterrent," Teach says.

It's hilarious, but in a Mamet sort of way.

Doesn't sound funny? It's hilarious, but in a Mamet sort of way. Beil, hair gelled back, wearing a black dress shirt and tight pants is positively sinister. His eyes glitter and the little mustache is perfect. Drebit, in a dumpy brown cardigan and little cap, is like a bear in his den until Teach goes snaky and Don's hibernation ends. Meanwhile, King is so nervous and needy you just hope he stays out of harm's way.

Still packing a punch after 35 years, American Buffalo shouldn't be on anyone's endangered species list. This production is meaty.

 

American Buffalo is a great theatrical pleasure.
Jerry Wasserman
vancouverplays.com Theatre Critic

''View online

AMERICAN BUFFALO
By David Mamet
Main Street Theatre Company
Little Mountain Studios
195 E. 26th Avenue (26th and Main)
Jan. 14-26, 8 PM
Pay-what-you-can (suggested $12)
604-992-2313

...this is a terrific production of a modern American classic...

First, a disclaimer: Stephen Malloy, who directs and designed this Equity Co-op production of David Mamet’sAmerican Buffalo is a colleague of mine in the Theatre program at UBC. A second disclaimer is probably also in order: I’m an unabashed (but not uncritical) fan of Ryan Beil, one of the three actors. So I guess I’m not entirely objective. That said, this is a terrific production of a modern American classic and a really fun theatrical experience.

This is about as unpretentious as theatre gets.

Much of the fun comes from the venue itself and the ways Malloy employs it. Little Mountain Studio is a pretentious name for a crappy little storefront a few steps off Main Street crammed with 50 seats. What’s left for the actors is about an 8 by 8 foot square of playing space. Packed with assorted junk on the shelves, the wall and the floor, it becomes Don Dubrow’s second-hand shop with a couple of feet of clearance to the audience. The door through which the characters enter and exit the shop is the actual outside door, so that on opening night the actors came in wet from real rain. The tiny washroom we see a character dip into to check his hair in the mirror is the same one the audience uses during intermission. Lighting is provided by ceiling lights the stage manager switches on at the beginning of each act. This is about as unpretentious as theatre gets.

The plot gives us Mamet’s view of American capitalism at its most basic on the mean streets of Chicago. Donny (Josh Drebit) has sold some guy a buffalo-head nickel for $90 from his shop, and is convinced for no apparent reason that the guy 1) has ripped him off, and 2) has a valuable coin collection. So he plans to steal it, using simple-minded Bobby (Daryl King) as his b&e man. But when local self-styled hot shot Teach (Ryan Beil) gets wind of the scheme, he takes over. For him the caper is all about “business,” “free enterprise.” He verbally bullies Don into replacing Bobby with him, and comes up with a hare-brained half-assed scheme that’s five parts bullshit, four parts paranoia, and one part fantasy. There’s some small-scale gratuitous violence before it all comes to nothing.

Mamet has mastered a certain kind of telegraphic dialogue that his characters use to mask their ignorance. It’s all bluff, laced with obscenities and answered by other characters with something similar. So no one ever really says anything, and everyone else agrees. It’s the worst possible language for coordinating a plan, even if the characters had the knowledge or intelligence on which to base one. It makes for some very funny exchanges, though it also frames the sick, self-defeating ethic they’ve adopted of macho egotism and self-justifying greed.

Malloy’s direction is as unadorned as the set, and the actors do a nice job of avoiding overplaying or caricaturing Mamet’s urban cowboys. Drebit’s Don, the solid, stolid centre of the story, makes clear his fundamental insecurity by buying into Teach’s ludicrous plan. Beil uses his marvellous comic gift to great effect as the blustering Teach, but plays it mostly straight as he must for a character who takes his sad-sack self absolutely seriously. Daryl King’s Bob is superb, the innocent kid who so wants to be one of the Men, as he must imagine them. It’s a pleasure watching these guys work at such close quarters, watching them making Mamet’s warped world feel so real.

Can’t wait to see what treat these guys will have in store for us next time.

Though a lesser play than Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which this same group did so well in the same space last year, American Buffalo is a great theatrical pleasure. Can’t wait to see what treat these guys will have in store for us next time.

 

REVIEW (end of 2010)

Shared experiences highlight year in theatre
Jo Ledingham, Special to Vancouver Courier December 29, 2010
'' View online

This seat-of-its-pants but loaded-with-talent company

...A couple of low tech (or no tech) shows that packed a punch were A Lie of the Mind and American Buffalo, both produced by Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op and directed by Stephen Malloy. This seat-of-its-pants but loaded-with-talent company really nailed the distinctive styles of American playwrights Sam Shepard and David Mamet, and the acting trio of Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil and Daryl King in both shows was dynamite. It's well worth shoehorning yourself into the tiny, slightly skuzzy Little Mountain Studio for anything that this company produces....

 

 

 

posterGlengarry Glen Ross
By David Mamet
Directed and Designed by Stephen Malloy
Stage Managed by Stephanie Meine
Costume Design by Karen Mirfield
Starring Ryan Beil, Ian Butcher, Bill Dow, Josh Drebit, Alex Ferguson, Patrick Keating, Daryl King, Michael P. Northey
November 19-29, 2009, 8PM
Little Mountain Studio, 26th and Main, Vancouver, CANADA
Pay What You Can (Suggested $12)

event imageIn 2009, Glengarry Glen Ross was nominated for two Jessie Richardson Awards. One for best production on a small stage. The other for outstanding performance by a supporting actor - Alex Ferguson for Ricky Roma.

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Photos

photo image(L-R) Bill Dow and Josh Drebit
Photo: Mike Fly
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photo image(L-R) Bill Dow and Josh Drebit
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image(L-R) Daryl King and Ryan Beil
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image(L-R) Alex Ferguson and Patrick Keating
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image Michael P. Northey
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image(L-R) Patrick Keating, Alex Ferguson and Bill Dow
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image(L-R) Bill Dow and Stephen Malloy (Director)
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image(L-R) Josh Drebit and Alex Ferguson
Photo: Daniella Aiello

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photo image (L-R) Bill Dow and Josh Drebit
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image (L-R) Daryl King, Ryan Beil, Stephen Malloy (Director)
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image (L-R) Bill Dow and Daryl King
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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photo image (L-R) Bill Dow, Daryl King and Alex Ferguson
Photo: Daniella Aiello
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GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Poster

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Press Release

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Reviews

Hottest property in town sits just off Main
By Peter Birney, Vancouver Sun Theatre Critic
November 23, 2008
''view online

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS

At Little Mountain Studio, 196 E. 26th Ave. at Main, to Nov. 29

Pay what you can, $12 suggested, call 604-992-2313

...the hottest ticket in town is pay-what-you-can.

Here's a money-saving tip: the hottest ticket in town is pay-what-you-can. Main Street Theatre's production of Glengarry Glen Ross carries a suggested price tag of just a dozen bucks, but its true worth is right up there with what you'd shell out to see David Mamet's magnificent play in any real theatre.

Little Mountain Studio is just a tiny front room with a slightly bigger space in the rear. Since there's a banquette already built into a nook in that back room, and the play's first act famously features a booth in a Chinese restaurant, producers Josh Drebit, Ryan Beil and Daryl King decided to cram as many chairs as they could into the space and make it work.

The audience packs in to face the banquette for the first act before the chairs are shifted to ring a real-estate office from hell. This production opens with a now-infamous monologue from the film version, and Michael P. Northey makes the most of his only scene by bellowing a blue streak about coffee at a real-estate office being for closers, not losers.

With tension now fairly dripping from the rafters, a trio of scenes in the restaurant set up the dynamics of anger and frustration driving the men who must con customers into buying Florida swampland. All their offerings have romantic names like Glengarry Glen Ross; none are worth a nickel as these shysters climb all over each other in a frantic bid to keep from being fired.

Stephen Malloy directs a cast containing not one bum note.

Stephen Malloy directs a cast containing not one bum note. Drebit's office manager is a seething mound of frustration in a too-tight suit, only able to glare at the salesmen as they browbeat him, and Ian Butcher's Baylen is a bullet-headed cop whose bark about a break-in only presages a terrible bite.

Beil and King are Aaranow and Moss, and these young actors are perfectly suited (in appropriately ugly suits from the '70s by Karen Mirfield) to conveying the anxiety of guys hanging from the bottom rung of the ladder. They're especially attuned to the strange and much-celebrated pacing of Mamet's dialogues, with words and half-finished sentences peppering the air like crossfire.

It's a stroke of genius...

Alex Ferguson's Roma and Bill Dow's Shelley "The Machine" Levene are creepy creatures not to be missed. It's a stroke of genius to have a veteran thesp like Dow slip into the skin of the senior snake-oil salesman, and Ferguson likewise nails the dead-eyed certainty of arrogant Roma as he reels in another patsy.

...this production bodes well for the future of Main Street Theatre.

That's Patrick Keating, who brings a beautiful delicacy to the loser Lingk and Mamet deserves a coffee because he's also a closer, using Lingk to wrap things up in a neat and nasty way. Both intimately gripping and outstandingly accomplished, this production bodes well for the future of Main Street Theatre.

Sun Theatre Critic
pbirnie@vancouversun.com

 

Glengarry Glen Ross full of precision and wit
By Kathleen Oliver, Georgia Straight Theatre Critic
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By David Mamet. Directed by Stephen Malloy. A Main Street Theatre Approved Equity Co-op production. At Little Mountain Studios on Wednesday, November 19. Continues until November 29

What a treat.

What a treat. Glengarry Glen Ross is a contemporary classic, and this production realizes the script's power with precision and wit.

David Mamet's 1982 play focuses on a group of real-estate salesmen trying to sell crappy land to unsuspecting customers. The top seller will win a fancy car, while those who donմ perform well will lose their jobs. It's every man for himself, and it brings out the characters' basest impulses.

Director Stephen Malloy and his cast deftly capture Mamet's style in an assured and fast-paced production.

Mamet is famous for his dialogue, with its incomplete thoughts (even incomplete syllables) and frequent profanity. Director Stephen Malloy and his cast deftly capture Mamet's style in an assured and fast-paced production. Malloy even has a drummer, Rex Fenton, pounding out beats during the scene changes, reminding us that the play is all about rhythm.

The standout in this uniformly strong cast is Bill Dow as Levene, a former hotshot whose star is fading. In an early scene, Levene begs office manager Williamson (Josh Drebit) for some decent leads. Dow nails Levene's mixture of bravado and desperation, and his halting attempts to gain the conversational upper hand are subtly hilarious.

The use and abuse of language is a central theme here. When one reasonably successful salesman, Moss (Daryl King), suggests to the despondent Aaronow (played with a spot-on ennui by Ryan Beil) that they break into the office to steal the leads, Aaronow asks, "are we actually talking about this?" Moss replies, "We were just speaking about it." And having a Ңig mouth is something more than one man brags about, but it ultimately proves a curse.

The seductive but destructive power of empty talk is embodied in Roma, the company's top salesman. Alex Ferguson makes Roma's rambling monologue about moral relativity-the prelude to a big sale-both funny and chilling. And Michael P. Northey's Blake reveals how words can carry pure aggression.

I was thrilled to watch them for a couple of hours.

The cramped performance space at Little Mountain Studios makes up for its poor sightlines with an intimacy that's well suited to this play-audience members really do feel like flies on the wall. I wouldn't want to sit down and make a deal with any of these guys, but I was thrilled to watch them for a couple of hours.

 

Jerry Wasserman
vancouverplays.com Theatre Critic
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GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
By David Mamet
Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op
November 19-29
Little Mountain Studio, 196 E. 26th Ave.
Pay What You Can ($12 suggested)
604.992.2313

If you want a close look at the roots of the current economic crisis, hustle on over to a hole in the wall at 26th and Main and see if you can scam someone out of a ticket to David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Scamming is what Mamet’s characters do best, along with boasting and lying about their scamming in orgies of delusionary self-congratulations about what straight-up men they really are.

...a note-perfect, in-your-face anatomy of macho American capitalism at its scariest, funniest and most pathetic.

A new Equity Co-op called Main Street Theatre crams Mamet’s 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play into a tiny room that seats about 40 and provides a note-perfect, in-your-face anatomy of macho American capitalism at its scariest, funniest and most pathetic.

Mamet’s foulmouthed Chicago real estate salesmen who specialize in convincing vulnerable suckers to buy Florida swampland with fancy names like Glengarry Highlands are today’s Wall Street bankers and brokers—peddlers of sub-prime mortgages and mortgage-backed securities in cheap ‘80s suits. The ABC of their businesses is simple: Always Be Closing. What they’re selling isn’t important, truth has no value, and the customer is never right except when he’s signing.

But maybe what’s most astonishing is the sense these guys have of their own virtue and entitlement. “It’s not a world of men,” complains Roma (Alex Ferguson), the firm’s top salesman, fresh from ripping off gormless Mr. Lingk (Patrick Keating). “We are the members of a dying breed,” he sighs. But he’s wrong. The greed-is-good mentality remains alive and well.

Stephen Malloy directs an adept company of eight who perform Mamet’s staccato score with perfect pitch.

Stephen Malloy directs an adept company of eight who perform Mamet’s staccato score with perfect pitch. Even during scene changes drummer Rex Fenton keeps the beat going. An astute protégé of Harold Pinter, to whom he dedicated the play, Mamet is a master of rhythmic dialogue. His characters talk compulsively to keep reality at bay, and this cast nails the Mamet yammer.

Bill Dow shines as desperate over-the-hill salesman Shelley “the Machine” Levene. Josh Drebit powerfully contains Williamson, the office manager on the receiving end of torrents of verbal abuse. Daryl King’s scheming Moss makes up a fine vaudeville duo with Ryan Beil’s Aaronow, who clearly isn’t tough enough to survive in this Darwinian jungle. Ferguson’s Roma is chilling and Keating’s Lingk the perfect victim. Michael P. Northey plays Blake, the head-office bully written for the movie, with withering scorn, and Ian Butcher is strong as the cop investigating the office robbery that will undo at least one of our masters of the universe.

Malloy does wonders with the tiny space...

Malloy does wonders with the tiny space, using its two doors to great effect, evoking an office with a single desk, and beautifully lighting a restaurant scene with a couple of cheap lamps from Ikea.

Jerry Wasserman

 

Review From The House: Glengarry Glen Ross
November 19th, 2008
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Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
Directed by Stephen Malloy
Little Mountain Studio (195 East 26th Ave)
Main Street Theatre Company
Nov 19 to 29, 2008 (not on Nov 24)

Land-line, cell-phone, I-phone, Blackberry - whatever you use to communicate, call the Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op info line at 604-992-2313, and tell them you want to see Glengarry Glen Ross.

I found myself saying a silent thank you...

Stephen Malloy's tightly directed production of Mamet's play about a bunch of unscrupulous fast-talking real estate salesmen is especially timely in view of events in the US. As I watched the slick tag-team of has-been Shelly Levene (Bill Dow) and current top-of -his game Richard Roma (Alex Ferguson) bamboozle the timid, elderly Lingk (Patrick Keating), I found myself saying a silent thank you to my wonderful, careful and considerate realtor-friend who helped me in my downsizing phase and didn't try to sell me the Burrard Bridge!

This was an apt play for the rather awkward playing space at Little Mountain Studios. The first act is set in a restaurant booth and the second in the office of the real estate company. Reconfiguring the seating at intermission, Malloy made the best possible use of what really is not an ideal space for a play.

Although I have read the play I have previously neither seen it in production nor viewed the 1992 film version so I had no preconceived ideas. I thought every cast member hit the perfect pitch for his character. The play centers on four real estate salesmen, Aaronow (Ryan Beil), Moss (Daryl King), Levene and Roma, who work out of an office managed by Williamson (Josh Drebit), selling dubious real estate to vulnerable clients. Glengarry and Glen Ross are two of the properties they are flogging. Blake (Michael P. Northey), a verbally abusive "motivational" guy from head office (a part added in the film version for Alec Baldwin), comes to tell them that all except the top two salesman will be fired in the next week so they had better produce. Fighting for survival, all are desperate to get good leads to close. Following the theft of the Glengarry leads from the office, Baylen (Ian Butcher), a detective comes in to investigate.

I was trying to figure out why I loved this play so much when it has so many characteristics that generally drive me crazy. The play is more a snapshot in time than a story with a great dramatic arc and the main characters are either amoral and deceitful or pathetic victim types. But con man or victim, his characters don't just sit around and whine, They have energy and drive and they fight for their lives, even if their methods are be less than admirable.

The words f-ck or f-cking are liberally used throughout the play. Obsessive as I am I did not actually count them in the script but that great reference source, Wikipedia, indicates that they are used more than 150 times or once every 40 seconds of stage time. Yet Mamet's characters are so brilliantly defined by their speech patterns, and the staccato dialogue with interrupted half-finished sentences, repetitions and interjections is so real and so well done by this cast, that one becomes numb to the profanity just as his characters are.

This is an excellent production of a wonderfully written play with a stellar cast

I was giong to rave about Dow's finely nuanced potrayal of Levene and then I realized that I would be similarly raving about each of the others - so enough with the superlatives. This is an excellent production of a wonderfully written play with a stellar cast - oops! more superlatives.

There are not many performances left. Don't miss it. I cant wait to see what this group of actors come up with next.

 

Michael John Unger
Plank Magazine
November 30, 2008

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Glengarry Glen Ross comes to Fucking Main Street

All it is, it's a carnival. What's special? What draws us? asks Roma in David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. He's waxing philosophical on life as he draws in a potential sale. For this version of the carnival, The Main Street Theatre Company gives us David Mamet's masterpiece about morality and salesmen. So what is special?

Main Street Theatre Company is full of special actors...

Well for one Main Street Theatre Company is full of special actors that can dig into the long speeches, stutters, pauses and repetitions that David Mamet is famous for. True to their name, MSTC bring us into a small art space just off Main Street to present their version of Glengarry. I was apprehensive at first because I knew the space was small, I worried if they'd be able to pull of a play that would feature eight actors in what is essentially a tiny art gallery. The meager space actually gave us a new perspective on Mamet's play, allowing the larger than life characters to be right on top of you. Michael P. Northey opens the play up as Blake with the bombastic monologue that was originally written for Alec Baldwin for the movie adaptation of the play. I'm not sure how common practice it is for productions to include a monologue that was not in the original play, but I'm glad Main Street put it in. In the tiny room it felt as if we all were being subjected to the tense, profanity laden motivational threat/speech. When I was taking my Business Diploma (I can't believe I'm admitting this) my classmates and I would occasionally shout the lines of dialogue to each other completely oblivious to the irony of it. "BC- Always be Closing!" Mamet productions often fail because of overzealous actors getting carried away with such lines, but not here. Bill Dow as Levene is a treat to watch as the aging former sales star. In amongst all of the great lines Mamet gives Levene, Dow peppers it with a wonderfully nuanced performance. Salesmen like to talk and in this play which is "dubbed death of a Fucking Salemen" no one likes to talk more than Roma played by Alex Ferguson. Ferguson gives us a salesman that is selling pure snake oil but we canմ help but want to listen. In such a cramped space, the front of house person warned us sitting in the front row to keep our feet in. In truth, there was little danger any of us would have wanted to tangle with these lions in the caged room.

This young company is a great addition to Vancouver theatre ... it was the hottest ticket in town with a waiting list for standing room only...

The director used the small space creatively, utilizing an already built in booth for the opening Chinese restaurant scenes and then moving the seating for the second act so that the audience sat in the round making it feel like a mini circus ring. Mamet's play is one of modern theatreճ classics but it seems to have a flaw, which even in the movie has always bugged me. It's the character of Williamson. He is a tough character to play not just because everyone hates him but because he is on the receiving end of a series of long-winded diatribes from the other characters. Despite being under almost constant attack, Williamson remains an unsympathetic character to the audience so it ends up being a lose/lose situation for the actor playing him. Josh Drebit does his best, but if Mamet intended Williamson to be soulless he should provide more evidence of this as the actor faces the danger of looking simply absent. The rest of the supporting cast are superb, Ryan Beil is perfectly cast as the meek lion salesman Aaronow, along with Patrick Keating as the loser Lingk. Ian Butcher, and Daryl King round out the rest of the talented cast that Stephen Malloy directs. He keeps the pacing up and even includes a live drummer in the background to emphasize the rhythm of Mametճ language. This young company is a great addition to Vancouver theatre and because of the small space it was the hottest ticket in town with a waiting list for standing room only. If you're lucky enough to catch it you may find yourself just like me and my business classmates afterwards shouting lines of dialogue to each other in the coffee shop.

"Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only!"

Real Estate and Coffee.

There's nothing more Vancouver than that.

 

Melanie Thompson
Writer, Administrator, Production Coordinator
Main Street Theatre: GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS

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Main Street Theatre Equity Co-op presents

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
By David Mamet

Directed by Stephen Malloy
Featuring Ryan Beil, Ian Butcher, Bill Dow, Josh Drebit,
Alex Ferguson, Patrick Keating, Daryl King, Michael P. Northey

November 19-29, 2008 at 8:00 pm (No show Nov. 24)
Little Mountain Studio
196 East 26th Ave. at Main St.
Admission: Pay What You Can ($12 suggested)
Info: 604.992.2313

Stephen Malloy directs a dynamite ensemble cast ...

Stephen Malloy directs a dynamite ensemble cast in David Mametճ Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play about fast-talking real estate salesmen and the lengths to which they will go to make a deal. Ryan Beil, Ian Butcher, Bill Dow, Josh Drebit, Alex Ferguson, Patrick Keating, Daryl King and Michael P. Northey will make Mamet's rapid-fire dialogue ricochet off the walls of Little Mountain Studio, a small art gallery converted into an intimate performance space. Sparks will fly!

...an explosive evening of theatre in an intimate, unconventional venue and a rare Vancouver mounting of a modern classic.

Like so many other creative and ambitious endeavours, this production of Glengarry Glen Ross came about over pints of beer. "We were talking about how weդ love to see more of the contemporary classics РMamet, Stoppard, O'Neill, Simon, Coward, Albee and others produced in Vancouver," says King, who is producing the show with Beil and Drebit. "Nine times out of ten, the ideas that come out of conversations like this remain in the bar with the empty pint glasses. But this time, we decided to forge ahead. We settled on Glengarry Glen Ross because of the power of the writing, the comment it makes on modern business practices, and the strong ensemble feel of the show." Respected Vancouver actor Bill Dow agreed to join the cast in the pivotal role of Levene, and everything seemed to fall into place with remarkable ease after that. The result: an explosive evening of theatre in an intimate, unconventional venue and a rare Vancouver mounting of a modern classic.

 

Glengarry Glenn Ross As Thrilling As A Basque Ball Game
A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog
Saturday, November 22, 2008

For a child, parents' warning is like a rose blooming in the brain; it opens with difficulty and fades quickly.
Galileo Galilei, Berchtolt Brecht

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The experience was so intense...

Last night John Lekich and I went to see the Main Street Production of David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross at the Little Mountain Studio on East 26 Avenue at Main Street. The experience was so intense that when we had a coffee at the nearby coffee shop, The Grind, I was just about commanded by Lekich,"You must blog this." My retort, "I only have a picture of actor Bill Dow that I took some years ago in a trio with Lois Anderson (centre) and Sheelah Megill (right). Lekich looked at me and said, "So what?"

I was watching a real life drama involving men with questionable ethics or perhaps with no ethics.

The intensity of this production, besides a stellar cast including my fave Bill Dow playing Shelley "The Machine" Levene, was because we the audience weren't watching a play on a stage. We were in the stage watching the performance about a meter or two away from the actors. In the second act the chairs are re-configured and the audience surrounds an office situation. The swearing, the yelling the slamming of doors, all up front, made me forget I was watching a play. I was watching a real life drama involving men with questionable ethics or perhaps with no ethics.

I told Lekich that my first play (I forget the circumstances and obviously my parents gave me no choice on going or not going) was Bertolt Brecht's Galileo Galilei performed in Spanish in a Buenos Aires theatre-in-the-round configuration sometime in 1952 when I was 10. I will never forget the immediacy of seeing people talking there in front of me when my previous experience came only from movies. There was that visceral feeling all over again at last night's Glengarry Glen Ross.

Around 1960 when I was officially an adult in Mexico City (I was 18) I was able to go to the Front in Mexico (minors were not allowed because the front is a betting game) to see mostly Basque pelotaris play the super exciting juego de pelota (ball game) or front. I remember in particular a player called Chicuri and the sole Mexican who liked Chicuri was considered a fenmeno (great player). The Mexican was a short and very quick man called Rafael Solana whose other talent of Formula 1 racing finally killed him. The form of front that I liked so much is usually called jai alai in North America. Jai alai in euskera (the language of the Basques) means "the happy game".

It is played with a basket called zesta-punta. This is supposed to be the fastest game in the world as the pelota (ball, handmade of virgin rubber, layered with nylon thread and two goatskin covers. Slightly smaller than a baseball and livelier than a golf ball, the pelota weighs about 41 ounces.) has been clocked at over 300kph and can shatter bulletproof glass.

Watching my favourite pelotaris play the game was a thrill that has rareley been equalled. I get sagas (a lovely Spanish word that means flash or streak) of this thrill when I listen to solos by Marc Destrubs or a rose super-performs in my garden, the bloom drawing my attention with its perfection of shape and scent. I had several sagas of this thrill watching the virtuoso performance of the all-male cast last night of Glengarry Glenn Ross and in particular that of Bill Dow and of Alex Ferguson playing Richard (Ricky) Roma. The latter could be an inspirational speaker at a $500 a plate dinner. He was that convincing and smooth. Bill Dow with the simple movement of his semi-closed eyes or the raising of an eybrow was triumphant one instant and defeated in the next. Watching Dow was like watching Chicuri or Solana gather the ball with their cesta and hurling it at the front (wall) with that dizzying speed that thrilled me so many years ago.

If I didn't get 100% satisfaction at the play it had all to do with the fact that I don't work from nine to five from Monday to Friday. If this were the case, after a frustrating hard week of the office, Glengary Glenn Ross,much like Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, is the perfect play to see on a Friday night. It was funny too. We were sitting next to Vancouver Sun theatre reviewer Peter Birnie. The three of us seemed to laugh in unison. What fun to have fun!