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Oscar winning screenwriter talks at "Speed-the-Plow" at new Piedmont Ave Theatre

Piedmont Oakland Rep on SUNDAY JUNE 29
Piedmont Oakland Rep on SUNDAY JUNE 29
Ann Higgins (

Jeremy Larner, who won the Academy Award for original screenplay for "The Candidate" starring Robert Redford, will talk about David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" at Piedmont Oakland Rep's inaugural performance at their new Piedmont Avenue space at Capoiera Mandinga, 4137 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.

The open forum will be after the 7 pm performance on Sunday June 29.

The Tony nominated play is about the souls of Hollywood moguls, a topic with which Mr. Larner has more than a passing familiarity.

There are two performances that day: 2:30 & 7:00 pm.

Only 40 seats per performance; running time 90 minutes; the post-performance forum will last 15-20 minutes.

The fully staged, book-in-hand performance features John Hale, Hilary Hesse, and Matt Lai.

Tickets are available at

“Speed-the-Plow” is a cutting insight into Hollywood and the avarice, ambition, and and lust of those who have the power to “green-light” films, and was Tony award nominee.

The production features John Hale who starred in the theatre group’s first two productions “Other People’s Money” and “The Dining Room,” for which he garnered rave reviews. The other two characters in Mamet’s triangle in Piedmont Oakland Rep’s production are played by Matt Lai, who just starred in Impact Theatre’s “Mutt,” and Hilary Hesse, who lately played Heavenly in Tennessee William’s “Sweet Bird of Youth,” at Tides Theatre in San Francisco.

Mamet is arguably one of the best playwrights AND screenwriters of our generation.

Jack Kroll of Newsweek described “Speed-the-Plow” as "another tone poem by our nation's foremost master of the language of moral epilepsy."

The one mastery that Mamet is noted for is his ability to capture the language and rhythms of characters whether they are con artists, salesman, moguls, thieves, or English barristers.

Mamet knows the film industry as well as he knows Broadway. He received Oscar nominations for “The Verdict” with Paul Newman and “Wag the Dog” with Robert De Niro, but perhaps his best remembered screenplay was “The Untouchables” with Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and De Niro.

The original 1988 cast of “Speed-the-Plow” featured Joe Mantegna, Ron Silver (who won the Tony for his portrayal of Fox), and Madonna. A 2008 Broadway revival starred Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”), Raul Esparza (Company), and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”).

Piedmont Oakland Rep (PORT) plans on doing a few more staged readings while the company plans and casts a season to start in late summer with performances on Saturdays and Sundays when there are no classes scheduled at the Capoeira Mandinga Studio.

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