Who knew that a nickel could create such drama amongst a group of grown men? In Seattle Repertory’s latest production, "American Buffalo," three loosely connected friends test the limits of loyalty as they plan a heist of a valuable coin collection.
Of course "American Buffalo" is just one in a long line of David Mamet’s plays that pits man against man – often distilled down to halting, colloquial speech that is used as the weapon of choice.
"American Buffalo" might be set against a backdrop of a cluttered junk shop somewhere in Chicago, but this play is not all about grime, grit and greed. In between the scheming and the caustic (yet, poetic) chatter an almost imperceptible shard of vulnerability seeps through the unseen cracks of the junk shop and begins to lift the cloud of suspicion and hostility - but not before some serious damage has already been done.
The cast of "American Buffalo" is certainly up to the challenges of Mamet Speak – also known as Profane Poetry. Actor Charles Leggett, who plays the ring leader Donny Dubrow, knows his way around a Chicago accent as he previously was on stage as Dave Moss in the Rep’s other Mamet production, "Glengarry Glen Ross." Seattle Rep audience members might also recognize Leggett from his turn as Lennie in "Of Mice and Men" – another play that sets out on a similar tragic path.
Seattle Rep stage veteran Hans Altwies plays the unpredictable “Teach” with just the right amount of unpredictability. And Zachary Simonson makes a promising debut at the Seattle Rep as Bobby.