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American Buffalo

American Buffalo
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: David Mamet
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 88
Pub. Date: 1977
ISBN-10: 0573640238
ISBN-13: 9780573640230
Cast Size: 3 male

About the Play

American Buffalo has long been a favourite of acting teachers for male monologues and male/male scenes.

American Buffalo is a full-length drama by David Mamet. After underselling a valuable nickel to a customer, junk shop owner Donny and a team of third-rate crooks plot to seek revenge by stealing the customer's coin collection. David Mamet's classic about loyalty and greed is more explosive and pointed than ever, exposing a timely American truth: crime and business are two sides of the same coin.

American Buffalo examines the fickle nature of honour among thieves. For junk Chicago dealer Donny, life goes from unlucky to unbearable when he discovers the rare "Buffalo head nickel" he just sold is worth 10 times as much as he let it go for. Refusing to let himself be out-swindled, he enlists two junk shop workers in a scheme to steal the coin back. These high-minded grifters fancy themselves businessmen pursuing legitimate free enterprise. But the reality of the three – Donny, the down-and-out junk shop owner; Bobby, a young junkie Donny has taken under his wing and "Teach," a violently paranoid braggart – is that they are merely pawns caught up in their own game of last-chance, dead-end, empty pipe dreams. As the heist unravels, the men's frustration and paranoia intensify. American Buffalo is considered a classic of the American theatre.

American Buffalo premiered in 1975 at the Goodman Theatre Stage II in Chicago. It opened Off-Broadway in 1976 at The Theatre in St. Clement's Episcopal Church in the Hell's Kitchen area of Manhattan, and transferred to Broadway in 1977 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, winning both the Drama Critics Circle Award for the best American play and the Obie Award. This volatile drama has enjoyed numerous revivals on Broadway, a successful 1996 film adaptation, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional, fringe festival, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 male

What people say:

"It isn't often that a play with a dramatic intensity of American Buffalo comes to the Broadway theatre." — New York Post

"Gripping drama." — New York Times

"Mamet deserves recognition for his careful, gorgeous, loving sense of language. He has the most acute ear for dialogue of any American writer since J.D. Salinger." — Village Voice

"This play is a parable about the US – not in the journalistic way… but quietly, stealthily, with all the rich interior organization of a true work of art." — The Observer

About the Playwright:

David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter as well as a director, novelist, poet, and essayist. He has written the screenplays for more than twenty films, including the Oscar-nominated The Verdict. His more than twenty plays include the Pulitzer Prizewinning Glengarry Glen Ross. His other awards include a Tony Award, an Academy Award, two OBIE Awards, two NYDCC Awards, and Outer Circle, Society of West End Theatre, and Dramatists Guild Hall-Warriner Awards.

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