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Theater Review - ¿Quien es más macho?

Looking for the alpha male in Glengarry Glen Ross

Playhouses rarely are considered masculine strongholds on a par with boot camps, locker rooms or steak restaurants. But few plays drip machismo like Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet's lacerating critique of capitalism via a wolf pack of trash-talking real estate salesmen. Proving they have the swinging, uh, neckties for the terse, tough script, the seven actors in the Alliance Theatre's new production compare how they talk the talk and walk the walk.

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BRIK BERKES (James Lingk)

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1) How manly is your role? "He drinks a gimlet. 'Nuff said."

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "Macho? That'd be Toddy Koovitz from Take Me Out. He's not onstage much, but he struts around the locker room and spouts so much BS, he's a perfect 'macho' candidate."

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "Act honorably. Show respect to others. Have pride in your work."

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "Well, I just built a 150-foot retaining wall along our house with 10-by-6-by-6 pressure-treated landscape timbers. Does that count?"

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DAVID DE VRIES (Dave Moss)

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1) How manly is your role? "He likes to scrum in the mud pit with the rest of the savages. He likes to win, and kick someone's ass in the process. But he gets somebody else to do his dirty work. How manly is that?"

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "If you call a racist cop in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter macho because he beats the hell out of an elderly, tubercular black man ... "

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "Look 'em in the eye and tell the truth (even when you're lying). And don't wear too much blush."

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "Parent my son. Seriously. Not a job for sissies."

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NEAL A. GHANT (Richard "Ricky" Roma)

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1) How manly is your role? "Manly? Manly?! I'm top dog, period. I bleed manliness."

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "I'd say Bo in Bus Stop at Theatre in the Square. The guy handles bulls, talks a good game, wears tight Levi's jeans, offends everyone in the room and still gets the girl."

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "Advice? Yeah, come see me in Glengarry Glen Ross. Bring coffee. Bring notebooks."

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "Playing World of Warcraft. Hey! Don't laugh; that's some manly shit. Those geeks are like rabid geeks if you ninja loot. 1337 EPIX!"

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CHRIS KAYSER (Shelly "The Machine" Levene)

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1) How manly is your role? "Why do you think they call me 'The Machine'?"

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "Cyrano de Bergerac. The nose, the sword – please."

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "Attend this play with a six-pack and a notebook."

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "Staying married and being a good father to my children."

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JOE KNEZEVICH (John Williamson)

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1) How manly is your role? "Williamson, the office manager, is pretty low on the 'manly' scale. He's so lame he only says 'fuck' three times in the entire play. But the beauty is: This boy among men is the only one who possesses real authority over the others."

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "Perhaps Lt. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice. He's definitely got the women falling all over themselves trying to get to him. His charm and deception seem effortless. Very manly."

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "One of Atlanta's most celebrated directors gave this advice: 'C'mon, man. You gotta grab your dick and smell your shit!'"

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "That has to do with my wife and is not fit for print."

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LARRY LARSON (George Aaronow)

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1) How manly is your role? "He is a bigger man than any of them because he is more in touch with his 'sensitive' side."

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "Probably George in Of Mice and Men at the Academy Theatre. I had to shoot Lennie in the head every night."

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "Enjoy the ladies. (You can't fake that.) Talk about sports. (I guess you could fake that.) Quote sections of David Mamet plays verbatim at family gatherings. (You may not survive that.)"

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "I work out at the Y, pretty much daily. I also watch a lot of sports both on TV and in person. Also listen to sports-talk radio to go to sleep at night."

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MAURICE RALSTON (Baylen, the police officer)

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1) How manly is your role? "You hear that clanking? That's not his key ring. This guy is one of his city's finest."

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2) What's the most macho stage role you've ever had? "I originated the role of Tito, the Cuban prison guard in the Alliance's production of Day of the Kings. He was in charge of the women's wing. He was brought down, however, late in the second act when a conniving cross-dresser with access to Tito's mescal dosed him with laudanum."

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3) What's the best way to act manly? "Call your mom at least once a week. If your dad answers, keep the conversation simple and monosyllabic. Nothing deep or significant. Seriously, grunts are good."

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4) What's the manliest thing you do in your offstage life? "Yardwork. Battling the bamboo. This stuff is the zombie foliage – kudzu ain't got shit on my bamboo."