Sure the two are still friends, but the connection that was once originally there – that first handshake and immediate thought that ‘hey, I'm going to be really good friends with this guy' – is somewhat tarnished. That ride will never be the same.
Factor a particular one of the female persuasion into the mix, and it's a litany of dilemmas of he said, she said piled on top of one another. Like Mary J. Blidge sings, “No more drama.”
Bobby Gould sure knows drama, literally and figuratively. He's a Hollywood film producer.
Currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse, written by famed American playwright David Mamet and directed by Randall Arney, “Speed-the-Plow” is a dog eat dog look at Hollywood under the keen eyes of Gould (Jon Tenney) and his friend Charlie Fox (Greg Germann), also a Hollywood producer. After 20 years since its initial run on Broadway, Mamet's rapid fire dialogue still pops (“He takes his coffee like he makes his movies – nothing in it”) and is still sharp.
The satirical lashing of Hollywood by Mamet continued with his screenplays for such films as Wag the Dog and State and Main , but it's with this play that a certain theme began. The theme being that Hollywood thrives on money-grubbing, feeding frenzies and the waging of green light wars.
Fresh off his new job as head of a production company, Gould is quickly approached by Fox who relays the information that Douggie Brown, one of the biggest stars in Tinsel Town, has approached him to produce a prison movie. The film is filled with the necessary factors (Action! Blood! A social theme!) to make it a box office bonanza and Gould and Fox into future millionaires.
Needing approval from the studio boss, a deal is all but done. Fox raises the stakes even higher, betting Gould that he can score with his temporary secretary that night.
Originally played by Madonna during the Broadway production, former Bat Girl, Alicia Silverstone, steps into the secretarial role as Karen. Silverstone's glowing eyes are alluring and very persuasive as her character tells Gould of a book called The Bridge , an artsy novel about radiation and the apocalypse, that she thinks should be adapted to film.
The story seems unfilmable, but deciding to give it a read, Gould suggests that Karen report back with “coverage” on the book at the likeliest of all places – his home. Once there, Karen continues to implore that he green light the The Bridge and not the certified millions of dollar spewing prison film. Conflicted, Gould must now decide what to do.
Casual in nature, down to the costumes, Tenney delivers a relaxed performance playing a man caught in the middle of two opposite forces. But it's Germann's performance that is the standout. He is a bottle of nerves that spastically bursts into manic fervor due to his friend's disloyalty.
The Geffen Playhouse is located at 10866 Le Conte Ave. in Los Angeles. For tickets and more information, call (310) 208-5454 or visit www.geffenplayhouse.com .