June 25, 2008 · Updated 11:43 AM
"On StageGlengarry Glen Ross continues through this weekend, April 14-16, 7:30 p.m., at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. All seats $12. Because of adult language and content, no one under 17 will be admitted without parental consent. Call 221-8268 for tickets.Put five men in an office together, tell them that their job is to sell real estate in Florida, then let them know that the most successful seller will get a Cadillac while the worst will get fired.That is essentially the story line behind the newest Island Theatre Production, Glengarry Glen Ross, which opened Friday at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. It is a story that is not at all uncommon in the world of business, professional sports, or any other field where inter-team competition is more important the team's overall performance. Directed by Richard Evans, Glengarry Glen Ross is a rough, raw show, filled with adult language and content, sharing more similarities with real life than with pure theater.As performed on the WICA stage, Glengarry Glen Ross is a show that a theatergoer must both love and hate to appreciate the depth of its realism. The five men working in this office are desperate in their drive for sales, getting along only well enough to keep from punching each other out. Ken Church is convincing in his role as the office's chief slimebag, Richard Roma. He moves easily from being a gladhanding salesman into downright abusiveness toward office manager John Williamson, played by Roy Feiring. Charged with slinging the most profane lines in the play, Roma charges phrase after phrase of epithets with the force of meaning. That is not easy, since the dialogue is not dissimilar from everyday conversations taking place in middle school locker rooms every day.Outside of adjusting to the play's language, the most difficult job the audience had was feeling sympathy for any of the characters. The way Glengarry Glen Ross is written, it is easy to walk away from the performance wishing nothing good for the characters. With this in mind, David Licastro's work as Shelly Levene is particularly important. From the show's opening scene, in which Licastro tries to convince Williamson (Feiring) to give him some good sales leads, Licastro is a picture of desperation as a once-successful salesman unable to do his job well as times change. Portrayed with a little less feeling, Levene would simply be just another creep keeping company with his own kind.Bif Dangerfield and Halim Dunsky are the show's comic relief as David Moss and George Aaronow, working in tandem like Abbott and Costello. Their dialogue in an early restaurant scene drew snickers aplenty from the audience as the confused Aaranow tries to keep up with Moss' plans to steal sales from his own office.Adding to the show's realism are Kirk Prindle as tough cop Baylen, and Joe Patrick, who plays well as a true mark for Richard Roma.It should be noted that some of the lines delivered opening night were a bit stiff, but by the end of the show, most of the dialougue was quite convincing. Audiences this coming weekend probably will not see any of these hitches. The set design, done by both Jim Scullin and Richard Evans, is excellent, as is the lighting and stage direction.As advertised, this show is not for children. The language used by the characters is profane, more so than most R rated movies, and is something WICA patrons should be ready for. But, for those so prepared, Glengarry Glen Ross is destined to be one of those shows that remains the subject of conversation for years to come."