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Neil Pepe will direct the production, returning to a work he staged previously at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2000 and transferred the same year to off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company, where he serves as artistic director and Mamet is a co-founder.
The new production will begin previews next March at a Broadway theater to be announced, with its official opening set for April 14. Casting of the play’s third role, Donny’s young gofer Bob, has not yet been set.
Longtime Mamet producer Jeffrey Richards will partner with Steve Traxler and Stephanie P. McClelland on the revival. This will mark the fourth Broadway production of a play that, alongside Glengarry Glen Ross, is considered a signature Mamet work, the profane poetry of its staccato dialogue forging a highly influential and much-imitated style with a rich thematic foundation in toxic masculinity.
American Buffalo tracks the scheme of Donny and his small-time criminal associates to steal back the coin that gives the play its title from a collector whom they believe picked it up from Don’s shop for a fraction of its worth.
The play premiered in 1975 at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, with a cast that featured another longtime Mamet collaborator and Atlantic co-founder, William H. Macy. It debuted on Broadway in 1977, with Ulu Grosbard directing Robert Duvall, Kenneth McMillan and John Savage. Revivals in New York and London have featured Al Pacino, John Goodman and Damian Lewis, while Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz starred in the 1996 film adaptation.
The most recent Broadway revival was a clamorous flop in 2008 that featured Cedric the Entertainer, John Leguizamo and Haley Joel Osment. It opened to blistering reviews and closed after just eight performances.
Rockwell won a best supporting actor Oscar in 2018 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and is currently nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Bob Fosse in FX’s Fosse/Verdon. He was last on Broadway in a 2015 revival of Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love.
Fishburne’s most recent Broadway credit was the one-man play Thurgood in 2008. He received a Tony Award for best featured actor in a play for his 1992 Broadway debut in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running.
Pepe previously directed Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre (2010) and Speed-the-Plow (2008) on Broadway, in addition to numerous works by the playwright on the downtown stage of the Atlantic.
An all-female revival of Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, to be directed by Amy Morton and originally announced for May of this year, has been postponed until next season.
“Theatrical real estate is at a premium and to secure the right theater, we have deferred the production to the 2020-21 season,” said the Richards-led producing team in a statement.
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