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Speed-The-Plow

Speed-The-Plow
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David Mamet
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 1989
ISBN-10: 0573690812
ISBN-13: 9780573690815
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

Speed-the-Plow is a full-length dramatic comedy by David Mamet. Greed. Lust. Fear. Movies. This scathing dissection of the Hollywood Industry exposes the sexual dynamics and political maneuvers within this male-dominated "bizness." Two greedy Hollywood producing partners are set to pitch a can't-lose deal to their boss when an unlikely obstacle, in the form of a seductive temp secretary, is the surprising catalyst for David Mamet's explosive confrontations.

Speed-the-Plow focuses on the ruthless nature of Hollywood and the movie industry. Karen, a temp office worker finds herself in a unique situation when she ends up behind the desk for Bobby Gould, the newly appointed Head of Production at a major studio. His co-worker and friend Charlie Fox has a terrific vehicle with a currently hot star attached. Bringing the script to Bobby, both see the work as a sure-fire hit – a blockbuster – that could catapult them into the Big Time. What happens when the three personalities meet in this competitive milieu leads to an eruption of laughter, anger and emotion. As they prepare their pitch to the studio boss, Bobby wagers Charlie that he can seduce Karen. As a ruse, he gives her a novel by "some Eastern sissy" writer that needs a courtesy read before being dismissed out of hand. Karen slyly determines the novel, not the movie-star script, should be the company's next film. She sleeps with Bobby who is so smitten with Karen and her ideals that he pleads with Charlie to drop the star project and pitch the "Eastern sissy" writer's book. This hilarious, acid-etched satire depicts Hollywood as a culture as corrupt as the society it claims to reflect; a theme that Mamet would later revisit in two films, Wag the Dog and State and Main. David Mamet writes dialogue so distinct – fast, funny, exacting, inspired – that it is a genre unto itself. And Speed-the-Plow is overflowing with Mamet’s trademark lightning wit.

Speed-the-Plow premiered in 1988 at the Royale Theatre on Broadway in New York City. Revived on Broadway in 2008, the play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men.

What people say:

"A world-class roller coaster ride! Pursues its corkscrew course at such velocity that your instinct is to check yourself for whiplash!" — New York Times

"Mamet's clearest, wittiest play." — New York Daily News

"I laughed and laughed. The play is crammed with wonderful, dazzling, brilliant lines." — New York Post

"Of all American playwrights, Mamet remains the shrewdest observer of the evil that men do unto each other in the name of buddyhood." — Time

"A brilliant black comedy, a dazzling dissection of Hollywood cupidity and another tone poem by our foremost master of the language of moral epilepsy… On its deepest level it belongs with the darker disclosures of movie-biz pathology like Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon. In a sense Speed-the-Plow distills all of these to a stark quintessence: there's hardly a line in it that isn't somehow insanely funny or scarily insane… [It is a] scathingly comic play." — Newsweek

About the Playwright:

David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter as well as a director, novelist, poet, and essayist. He has written the screenplays for more than twenty films, including the Oscar-nominated The Verdict. His more than twenty plays include the Pulitzer Prizewinning Glengarry Glen Ross. His other awards include a Tony Award, an Academy Award, two OBIE Awards, two New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and Outer Circle, Society of West End Theatre, and Dramatists Guild Hall-Warriner Awards.

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