From left, Jim Ortlieb, David Adkins, Todd Licea, Will LeBow and Charlie Kevin in Glengarry Glen Ross at MRT.
From left, Jim Ortlieb, David Adkins, Todd Licea, Will LeBow and Charlie Kevin in Glengarry Glen Ross at MRT. (PHOTO/MEGHAN MOORE)
By Nancye Tuttle

Sun Correspondent

LOWELL -- Merrimack Repertory Theatre artistic director Charles Towers was content that he'd done his best with David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece Glengarry Glen Ross when he directed it 25 years ago at Virginia Stage Company.

But when he read an article in Atlantic Monthly last year about Enron's financial dealings and corporate greed in America, he knew it was time to revisit it.

Glengarry Glen Ross opens in previews at MRT on April 25, to the press on April 28 and runs through May 19.

"It is one of the best plays about corporate influences in America," said Towers. "It's Mamet's masterpiece."

Set in 1984, the play is about salesmen in a cutthroat Chicago real estate office who are pitted against each other in a brutal zero-sum battle for the best leads. With jobs on the line, each man must decide how far to go to make a sale.

"It's funny, with a great plot and its themes of vulture capitalism and shady financial practices are timelier than ever," said Towers.

But, he warned, "In order to depict the rough world of fiercely competitive men, Mamet skillfully uses his trademark profanity for both comic and dramatic effect. It is not a play for the linguistically squeamish. But it is a must for any who wants to experience the thrill of genuinely muscular playwriting."

Tickets start at $20 and are available at www.MRT.org or call the box office at 978-654-4678.

On the marquee

  • SNIP-SNIP: Middlesex Community College's Theater Department presents Stephen Sondheim's gory musical Sweeney Todd, also known as the "demon barber of Fleet Street," as its spring offering. Performances take place Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27, at 7 p.m., and at 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 in Merrimack College's Church of Christ the Teacher Basement Theatre, 315 Turnpike St., North Andover. The production was moved to the new space from MCC's theater home in Lowell due to repairs taking place there.
  • BARD'S CHALLENGE: How many tribulations can one man take? For the answer, check out Pericles, Actors' Shakespeare Project's spring offering, being presented through May 12 at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 525 Washington St., downtown Boston. Allyn Burrows, who has MRT credits, directs the work that is filled with challenges and surprises that would test even the most resilient of men. 800-440-7654 or www.moderntheatre.com.
  • NORTON NOMINEE: Seana McKenna is nominated for an Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for her performance in Shakespeare's Will at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. The Boston Theater Critics Association made the nomination, and winner will be announced at the 31st Annual Elliot Norton Awards on Monday, May 13, at 7 p.m. at Paramount Mainstage, 559 Washington St., Boston. Tickets $30, including post-party available at 617-824-8000 or www.nortonawardsboston.com.

Nancye Tuttle's email is nancyedt@verizon.net.