Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito star in THE BIG KAHUNA
It may seem like pretty tame dramatic fodder at first, but salesman have always made for great theater and, once adapted, great film. Take “Death of a Salesman,” written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller and later adapted for the Golden Globe-winning TV 1985 show starring Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovitch. Then there’s David Mamet’s unforgettable “Glengarry Glen Ross,” written for the stage in 1984 and adapted for the 1992 film starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey. Spacey must have a knack for playing assholes in pinstripes because he’s also outstanding in THE BIG KAHUNA (1999), playing Thursday, December 1st at 9pm.
Based on “Hospitality Suite,” a play written by Roger Rueff (who also wrote the screenplay), three salesmen working for a firm that makes industrial lubricants are waiting in the company’s hospitality suite at a manufacturers convention to make a big sale to an elusive buyer. Phil (Danny DeVito) is in his mid 50s. He’s devoted his life to his job but emotionally has little to show for it. Bob (Peter Facinelli) is a quiet but observant newcomer in his 20s, recently married and adjusting to his first business trip. And Larry (Kevin Spacey) is a bundle of energy who likes to drink, smoke, and start arguments. When Phil and Larry realize Bob has met and bonded with their buyer, they have no choice but to send in the rookie to close the sale. But can he handle it?