Sep 262007
 

Philip Green, Steve Tharp and Michael Volpendesta hunt the American BuffaloSet in a junkshop and occurring over the course of one very bad day, American Buffalo tells the story of three blue-collar men — Don Dubrow, Walter “Teach” Cole, and Bob — as they scheme and dream of better lives. After realizing he’s sold a rare Buffalo nickel for a fraction of its value, Don comes up with a harebrained plan to steal it back with the help of Teach and Bob.

American Buffalo is about much more than a simple heist. Don and Teach’s scheme is merely the latest offensive in their ever losing battle to make something of their lives. Don resolves to right the wrong done to him. Teach seeks to lie and cheat his way to the top and thus forces himself into Don’s plan. All the while, young Bob reverently, and mistakenly, seeks the respect of the two older but not necessarily wiser men. Through the interactions of the three men, the play provides an intimate, candid, and comedic look at the men’s attempts to improve their lot.

Director Mark Valahovic has a long history at Live Arts. If you dropped in on our Streetcar Named Desire this Summer, you’re probably still haunted by his Stanley Kowalski.

Valahovic says that, “Since David Mamet is an advocate of an acting technique to which I subscribe, this production gives me the opportunity to train actors to tell a story in a way that would make the playwright very proud if he were to see it. You’re invited, David.

“My goal is to tell a story that is so compelling and so funny that a Charlottesville audience member would pay to see it again.”

American Buffalo was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, famous for his innovative and unrestrained dialogue. In addition to American Buffalo, Mamet also penned many other works such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow, both of which earned Mamet Tony Award nominations (and both of which have been produced at Live Arts). A writer for the screen as well as stage, Mamet also wrote the screenplay when American Buffalo was made into a feature film in 1996, with Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz starring in the roles of Teach and Don respectively. His other screenwriting credits include the Oscar-nominated films The Verdict and Wag the Dog.

Cast for the Live Arts production of American Buffalo features Steve Tharp as Don, Michael Volpendesta as Teach and Philip Green as Bob.

For tickets or schedule information, visit livearts.org or ring 434-977-41777 ext. 108.

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