David Mamet’s Broadway revival in American Buffalo, starring Tony winner Laurence Fishburne and Golden Globe winners Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss begins previews on March 22 at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
American Buffalo begins previews
Directed by Neil Pepe (Theatre Life), the 16-week limited engagement begins April 14 and runs through July 10. The crew rehearsed during the COVID-19 Broadway shutdown and found its premiere delayed. Initially, the preview should start in March 2022. Buffalo, USA follows three little liars in pursuit of the American Dream. The production premiered on Broadway in 1977. Broadway League nominated it for two Tony Awards and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Stage Design. It was revived off-Broadway in 1981 and 2000, and on Broadway in 1983.
The production stars Fishburne as Donny, Rockwell as Teach, and Criss as Bobby. It consists of a set design by Scott Pask. Also, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, and casting by Telsey + Co and William Cantler.
Jeffrey Richards, Steve Traxler, Stephanie P. McClelland, and GFour Production head the show. Along with Spencer Ross with Chris and Ashlee Clarke, Darren P. DeVerna, Gemini Theatrical, Suna Said Maslin, Richard Liebowitz/Cue to Cue Productions, Patty Baker/Good Productions, Brad Blume, Caiola Productions, Joanna Carson, Arthur Kern, Willette Klausner, Jeremiah J. Harris, and Van Kaplan, Patrick Myles/David Luff, Alexander Marshall, Kathleen K. Johnson, Diego Kolankowsky, Steve and Jacob Levy, Morwin Schmookler, Brian Moreland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Jacob Soroken Porter, and The Shubert Organization.
Typical of Mamet’s writing style, the show’s dialogue is at times brevity and vulgarity. Teach said “cunt” many times, and both Donny and Teach said “fuck” more times. By contrast, the younger character Bobby only says “fuck” in extreme emergencies: after the whipping and his final apology to Donny.
Mamet doesn’t seek shock value with his profanity. But is an integral part of his character’s “profane poetry.” It, according to frequent collaborator Gregory Mosher, “worked the iambic pentameter out of the vernacular of the underclass”. Sometimes a character’s vulgar vocabulary can also be seen as psychologically necessary armor against their brutal environment. Stage directions in parentheses are simple and do not contain line information.
Credits featured image: Dennis Yang, Flickr
Credits: newyorktheatreguide.com; theatermania.com