Al Pacino's Broadway Play 'Glengarry Glen Ross' Gets Lukewarm Response From Critics

By O'Jay Burgess | Dec 10, 2012 12:02 PM EST

David Mamet's "The Anarchist," the two-person play starring Deborah Winger and  Patti Lupone met an earlier than expected closure due to flak from critics who labeled the piece "boring."

Mamet returns with the highly-anticipated "Glengarry Glen Ross," his very successful piece from the 1980s. Despite Al Pacino's star presence in the show, critics are not raving about his performance in the pricey production.

Critics blasted the show for its lengthy preview, which handlers say was due to Hurricane Sandy. Labeled as one of the most expensive shows on Broadway with tickets starting at $377, the play, according to some critics, doesn't deliver much. 

Charles McNutly of the Los Angeles Times wrote:

"The production isn't a train wreck but that it fails to live up to the hype. Pacino's performance seems like a rough draft, as though he's testing out ideas, daring himself to be bolder, trying to figure out a way to make it new."

Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote:

"This production feels like a strange combination of comic shtick and existential weariness that moves slowly enough to keep you aware, at all times, of the hollowness of its characters' talk. Pacino is less than impressive, delivering his lines in a fretful, rambling singsong voice that sometimes gets stuck on a word like a phonograph needle." 

Marilyn  Stasio of Varitey wrote:

"Al Pacino may be pulling them in for David Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning ode to American con artistry, "Glengarry Glen Ross," but the guy who's blowing them away is Bobby Cannavale, a live wire in the role played by Pacino in the 1992 film version. Show's hefty $377 tab for prime ducats and the long-delayed opening provided much grist for the gossip mill. But despite production flaws, in this post-Recession era of mortgage foreclosures and crooked real estate deals, it's a treat to revisit the best American play ever written about merciless men and their predatory business practices."

Despite some detractors, Paicno did earn some praise from critics.

Bloomberg wrote:

"Al Pacino, as Shelly (The Machine) Levene, stands out as one of the best messengers of Mamet's gorgeous, vicious music. The play, it occurs to the writer, could be retitled "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman."

Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross," opened up at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on Dec. 8 and the limited run for the show has been extended through January 20, 2013.

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