The tone is set from the time the lights go on, on the beautiful revival of David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre on West 50th Street. It is a tone that shouts, “Brilliant!” From the time that veteran actor Laurence Fishburne opens as Donny talking a mile-a-minute to school Bobby on life, you know you’re going to be sitting up at attention as well, to take in his pearls of wisdom. Darren Criss plays Bobby with a child-like innocence and ignorance. Sam Rockwell’s character Teach is another person who struggles to survive and finds a common thread with these other two characters. Though he is also someone who is self-absorbed.

These three men speak in very blunt and raw language that demands your attention. Sometimes they are sharing life lessons and other times they are complaining about the simplest things. Complaining that easily and often takes it over the top! This is one hilarious play that will have you wondering where these three actors get the energy from to speak and think so quickly.

There is no doubt you are in the presence of greatness, in the abilities of these actors, as they take Mamet’s powerful dialogue and bring their own humanity and creativity to it. The words soar in front of you and you find yourself flying dangerously high on the flowing, funny and sometimes vile dialogues shared.

“American Buffalo” begs the question, how much would you do to get that big score? If you had the opportunity to rob someone and come away with a lot of money, would you be fine with doing that? What hope is left to people that only find hope and possibilities through robbing others? If you are conspiring to commit a crime, how much allegiance do you have to your fellow criminals? If you ask the question is there loyalty among thieves, “American Buffalo” gives you a yes and no answer. Not sure what I mean? You’ll have to go to the theater to find out.

This cast is worth your time, attention and ticket. “American Buffalo” is a tremendous theatrical treat! I laughed like hell. When it was over, I knew that I was deeply appreciative of the acting chops of these three men. They gave flawless, riveting performances that had the entire audience on their feet clapping and shouting. Director Neil Pepe has masterfully brought these fine thespians together and it is quite appropriate that not only is the script filled with a lot of fast talking, but the stage is cluttered with junk as they have all the play taking place in Donny’s cluttered Junkshop. “American Buffalo” is a MUST-SEE!

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