Friday, November 21, 2008

American Buffalo

I enjoyed American Buffalo, but was not WOWED by it. I thought the performances, for the most part, were pretty solid. John Leguizamo was particularly engaging and Cedric the Entertainer certainly held his own. I was a little disappointed with Haley Joel Osment, not because he was bad in so much as it felt, to me at least, that he was a little out of his element. The entire outing seemed bigger than he was and I never felt that he really got his arms around it.

The play, as mentioned, is closing barely a week after it opened, and I can't tell you that I'm all that surprised. I don't even really know why. I like this play and i liked this production of it, but...I guess this production just never felt like more than the sum of its parts. I am a big Mamet fan, and have read and seen American Buffalo before so I certainly knew what I was in for on that front. The performances, as mentioned, were at worst capable, and usually much more than that. The other production values - set, lights, costumes - were certainly all top notch too. Everything looked and sounded great. So I don't know what it is about this production that is failing to gain traction with the theatre-going public. Maybe as the economy continues to tank and the cold dark days of winter are upon us, the masses are just looking for something a little more...inspiring. Like The Seagull.

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