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Cedric the Entertainer makes B'way debut

Linda Armstrong | 4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.
Cedric the Entertainer has made his Broadway debut in "American Buffalo," a classic drama/comedy by...
Cedric the Entertainer, Haley Joel Osmet and John Leguizamo in “American Buffalo”

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To celebrate an extra rare moment in Cedric’s career (“American Buffalo” is the comedian/actor’s first Broadway play)—Cedric “The Entertainer” presented his American Buffalo co-star, John Leguizamo, along with several of the “American Buffalo” producers with personalized embroidered Crown Royal XR bags to commemorate the show’s opening night on Broadway. Cedric the Entertainer, Haley Joel Osmet and John Leguizamo in “American Buffalo”

Cedric the Entertainer has made his Broadway debut in "American Buffalo," a classic drama/comedy by David Mamet. Some fans may have wondered if he could be as natural live on stage as he is in his many movie and television roles. Well, the answer to that question is YES! Cedric gives a smooth and endearing performance as Donny.

One of the factors that allow him to do so well is how he and costar John Leguizamo (Teach) play off of each other. They present a very captivating dramatic balance. Cedric is somewhat low-key, while Leguizamo is totally wound up and comes in with an energy, anger and fire. Donny is a fatherly type who is always trying to help people, while Teach is ready, willing and able to demonstrate his belief in looking out for number one. He has no problem committing a crime and doing it armed. (He believes that he needs to have a gun as a deterrent, in case the person whose house he is robbing happens to have a problem with it.)

Needless to say, Teach is a very colorful and funny character. Leguizamo and Cedric's onstage chemistry even makes their constant use of profanity not only acceptable, but hilarious as well.

And Cedric is not the only cast member making his Broadway debut. This cast is rounded out by Haley Joel Osment, who plays Bobby. Osment seems to have a very natural flow on stage as well. Be warned: There is an abundance of vile, profane language. I mean, words that would make a sailor blush. "American Buffalo" shows life in a very raw way. This is also not a play with a happy ending. In fact, by the end, you see how pathetic these three characters are. Their hopelessness is crystal clear.

But, this is still a chance to see these talents on the same stage, and it's totally worth it. "American Buffalo" is playing at the Belasco Theatre at 111 West 44th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. For tickets, call (212) 239-6262.