Critics have not been altogether kind to Al Pacino, who is back on Broadway in the latest revival of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross." It opened Saturday night.
The Oscar winner, who played slick up-and-comer Ricky Roma in the 1992 movie version, now takes on the role of Shelley Levine, the aging real-estate salesman who's fearful of losing his edge. Also in the cast are Bobby Cannavale as Roma, John C. McGinley, David Harbour, Richard Schiff, Jeremy Shamos and Murphy Guyer.
Only Cannavale has gotten decent press. Pacino has been described by one critic as "less than impressive" in a production that another critic called not quite "a train wreck."
Here 's a look at what some of the critics had to say:
Ben Brantley of The New York Times: "This performance places Shelly firmly and dominatingly at the center of "Glengarry," which needs to be a tight ensemble piece. There's not much the other actors can do to compete with or even balance Mr. Pacino's grandstanding. Much of the cast -- which includes John C. McGinley, Richard Schiff and Jeremy Shamos -- goes for obvious laughs in line readings. "
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter: "First seen on Broadway in 1984, Mamet's tight-as-a-drum drama should still retain its bite, but it never quite catches fire in this latest revival. Allowing the play to be twisted from an ensemble piece into a platform for Al Pacino, an actor not averse to showboating, director Daniel Sullivan and his producers have done a disservice to the Pulitzer-winning work."
Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press: "Here he (Pacino) works hard to be meek and chummy and desperate and mostly succeeds, though it's hard not to think you're watching Al Pacino working hard to be meek and chummy and desperate. His eyes bulge, he plays with his hair, he takes long pauses while staring to get his point across -- he bobs up and down in the Mamet dialogue, sometimes relishing the theatricality of the role and other times losing himself in it"
Elysa Gardner of USA Today: "It's not every day that you get to see such top-notch performers play hardball onstage, and their flashes of electricity sustain this imperfect Glengarry."