is a semi-autobiographical play by David Mamet
, written in 1970 and first produced in 1980 (revised version).
As he would later do with Glengarry Glen Ross
, Mamet drew upon experiences from a past vocation to create high drama. In this case, he turned to his days as a cook aboard a cargo ship
to frame this tale of Dale Katzman, a college student from an Ivy League school "near Boston" who takes a summer job as a cook in the galley of the T. Harrison
, a lake freighter
for a Chicago
-based steel concern. Dale's predecessor, Guigliani, endured a particularly violent end while on terra firma
, the cause and nature of which is speculated by the other crew members. Dale, and the audience, gets to know each of them, including: Fireman, who reads voraciously when not "watching the gauges"; Fred, who imparts his unique, politically incorrect
philosophy regarding women on the young man; and, especially, Joe Litko, a 23-year veteran of the seas, who sees much of himself in Dale. The dialogue is Mametspeak at its most raw, as secrets are shared, picayune matters are debated, and fantasies are laid out, vividly. Read more...