Fans of Emmy Award winner and multiple threat performer Darren Criss all started counting their pennies yesterday with the news that Criss would be back treading the boards on the Great White Way. Following a short tease from the star, news broke that Criss would be joining Emmy and Tony winner Laurence Fishburne and Oscar winner Sam Rockwell, completing the cast for the upcoming revival of American Buffalo.
The play, written by David Mamet had its Broadway premiere in 1977, after opening two years earlier in Chicago, explores the murky overlap between crime and business. Donny (Fishburne), the owner of a small-time pawnshop, and Bobby (Criss), his drug-addicted sidekick and gofer, are planning a burglary. Bobby has already messed up the stake-out, and Donny tries to teach him about good business, but Donny loves Bobby and wants to take care of him, so he’s not too angry. When another friend, Teach (Rockwell), comes in and hears them talking about the burglary, he wants in, but he wants Bobby out. This sets off a conflagration of mistrust among the three men, which may or may not involve double-dealing and lies. Their friendships are tested against the background of doing business.
Criss set off speculation about his return to the stage two days ago, posting on Twitter that “it’s right about time” for him to have a stage production in the works since he aims to be in a show every 2-3 years.
I try to get back on the boards every 2-3 years… so wouldn’t you say it’s right about time?
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) October 23, 2019
Criss made his Broadway debut January 2012 replacing Daniel Radcliffe in the revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He then appeared as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway in 2015, returning just over a year later for the San Francisco and LA legs of the tour in late 2016. Now almost 3.5 years later, he’s back, though in a play rather than a musical, something which we are very excited to see.
And, in typical Criss form, he couldn’t contain his excitement about the new project either. Taking once again to social media, he posted the news of his addition to the American Buffalo cast proclaiming how lucky he is to get to work with some of America’s greatest playwrights and actors for the production.
All I wanted when I started acting was to one day perform the works of America’s greatest playwrights. If I got lucky, I could do it with America’s greatest actors. If I got REALLY lucky… maybe I could do both on BWAY- with my FAVORITE actors.
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) October 24, 2019
American Buffalo is Mamet’s second play, and is known for introducing audiences to what has become known as “Mametspeak”, a poetic confluence of profanity, interruptions and tough-as-nails vernacular that came to typify Mamet’s dramatic voice. Something that we are looking forward to seeing Criss tackle, enabling him to showcase yet again his impressive dramatic chops.
Frequent Mamet collaborator Neil Pepe will be directing the revival, which will begin previews on March 24, 2020 at the Circle in the Square Theatre. The play will officially open on April 14. Tickets are not currently on sale, but you can sign up for updates at the play’s official site.
While we have some months to wait before the play opens, fans can see Criss on the big screen next month in the latest World War II epic from Roland Emmerich, Midway.
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