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Directed by Tony winner Neil Pepe (Speed-the-Plow, A Life in the Theatre), the production will run for a strictly limited 16-week engagement opening Wednesday, April 14, 2022, at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Preview performances are scheduled to begin the week of March 22, 2022.
The play follows three small-time hustlers as they attempt to pull off a coin-collection heist in a story that doubles as an examination of poverty, friendship, greed and loyalty. Fishburne will play Donny, the owner of the Chicago pawnshop in which the play is based. After selling a buffalo nickel to the customer, he suspects it might be worth significantly more and hatches a plan with his lackey and mentee Bobby, played by Criss, to steal it back. Rockwell will play Teach, Don’s poker buddy who learns of their scheme and wants in on it.
Debuting at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway in 1977, American Buffalo’s original run starred Robert Duvall and earned the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play. Other revivals include off-Broadway and West End runs, in addition to a 1983 Broadway revival, for which it earned a Tony Award nomination for best revival of a play. Other notable actors featured in past revivals include Al Pacino, William H. Macy, Damian Lewis and John Leguizamo.
Fishburne, who is a Tony and Emmy winner, most recently appeared on ABC’s Black-ish and in the Antoine Fuqua executive-produced Quibi series #Freerayshawn. He can next be seen in John Wick: Chapter 4 and Peacock’s MacGruber. Rockwell, a Golden Globe and Academy Award winner, has appeared in a number of recently acclaimed shows such as Fosse/Verdon and award-winning movies Richard Jewell and Jojo Rabbit.
Criss, who has an Emmy Award and Golden Globe to his name, shot to fame on Ryan Murphy’s Fox musical dramedy Glee before jumping to several other Murphy series, including Netflix’s Hollywood and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Up next for Criss is his first holiday album, A Very Darren Crissmas, which was released Friday ahead of a North American tour starting Dec. 3.
Set design is by Scott Pask, with costume design by Dede Ayite and lighting design by Tyler Micoleau. The producing team is led by Jeffrey Richards, Steve Traxler, Stephanie P. McClelland, GFour Productions, Spencer Ross with Chris and Ashlee Clarke, 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 Darren P. DeVerna, 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.
Tickets for American Buffalo are currently on sale in person at the Circle in the Square Theatre and online.
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