Thursday, October 30, 2008
Given that I sneaked into the dress rehearsal for American Buffalo, take this with a grain of salt (which I can only help has better cured the rotting meat...), but all of the glib energy has been drained from Mamet's so-so play about American ennui, a show in which three deadbeats talk a plan to death, for no reason other than it being embedded in their genetic capitalist zeitgeist to make money, and not be cheated. It's not that far from Israel Horovitz's Line, and it has the advantage of being a lot more subtle . . . but subtlety isn't something John Leguizamo and Cedric the Entertainer are known for. (And Hailey Joel Osment isn't actually known for anything, which is about what he presents in this minimalist role of a mentally challenged kid.) I'm sure the staging will grow to feel more natural over the next few weeks of previews, but unless the actors actually find some motivation behind their bullshit, that is, unless they manage to talk themselves up, it's going to be a long, miserable two hours.