Speed-the-Plow Criticism

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When Speed-the-Plow was first produced on Broadway in 1988, the casting of Madonna in the role of Karen was debated in the press more than the merits of the play itself. Many critics found the play up to Mamet's high standards. William A. Henry III, reviewing the play in Time, wrote, "Of all American playwrights, Mamet, 40, remains the shrewdest observer of the evil that men do unto each other in the name of buddyhood." Not all critics were impressed, however. In New York, John Simon stated: "The plot is minimal, barely sufficient to poke fun at Hollywood and show some derision for human nature." Simon also added, "And when you reduce it to its essentials, it is really only variations on a basic bitter joke."

Mamet's use of language is often singled out for praise, and Speed-the-Plow is no exception. Robert Brustein in the New Republic argued, "His ear...

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This section contains 286 words
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Buy the Speed-the-Plow Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Speed-the-Plow from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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