Stage / Speed the Plow, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, takes its title from a 15th century work song called “God Speed the Plow,” a prayer for fertile soils and prosperity. The play is a piercingly funny satire of the American movie industry and all things showbiz. Speed the Plow reveals a scuzzy side of glamorous, sun-soaked Hollywood: Bobby Gould and Charlie Fox have a movie script they think is gonna make them Hollywood golden boys, and they also have a side bet on whether Bobby can get Karen, the secretary, to hop in bed with him. It’s a show about moral decline, “handshakes and backstabs,” and isn’t recommended for kids under 11.
Speed the Plow, which premiered on Broadway in 1988 and starred Madonna as Karen, opens here, with Julia Levanne in that role, at Manoa Valley Theatre. Guest Director Scott Rogers leads a quaint, talented cast in Mamet’s swift little zinger. Mamet is known for sparse dialogue, limited stage directions and a penchant for minimalism, and MVT is known for fine, sharp performances. God speed the– well, you know.