One of the aspects of London life I envy the most is the constant collection of incredible theatrical productions. British trained theater actors are by far some of the best in the world, and I always make a point to see a play….or five each time I pay London a visit. I couldn’t be happier to celebrate my 100th post than by sharing my time witnessing a fantastic cast.
American Buffalo is a really unique play written by the infamous David Mamet in 1975. Fun fact. American Buffalo made its first appearance in America, specifically at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Perhaps the play’s first performance would foreshadow one if its future performers, the beloved John Goodman.
John Goodman’s character Don is the owner of a junk/antique shop. One day a customer showed interest in a buffalo nickel which he ends up selling for ninety dollars. To Don’s misfortune, he begins wondering whether he could have sold the nickel for more. He therefore plots with his young sidekick Bobby to steal back the coin. When the confident yet clumsy Teach becomes aware of the plot to steal back the nickel, he vigorously persuades Don that Bobby is too young and inexperienced. The story takes off from there.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but the second Teach, played by the amazing Damian Lewis, enters the stage in his burgundy suit, the audience is in for an experience. Teach’s word choices are rather “intense”, and Damian did a fantastic job of bringing the character to life. Lewis has frequently played American characters, and his accident is pretty hysterical and spot on. Tom Sturridge’s depiction of Bobby was another strong performance. He physically morphs into his character, but I must say his character drives me a bit nuts. John Goodman’s often subtle humor plays a great balance to Damian Lewis’ larger than life grandeur. The set is also pretty fascinating. The entire play takes place in Don’s shop, and the level of detail is pretty incredible.
American Buffalo will be running for a few more weeks, and I highly recommend going if you can snag a seat. Warning: In line with Mamet’s writing, there’s quite a bit of vulgarity.
If you have gone or intend on going, let me know your thoughts!
Did I mention that I got to meet Lewis, Goodman, and Sturridge? I have to admit that after meeting Damian, I’m pretty obsessed with him. What a nice guy! Goodman and Sturridge are a bit more reserved but are equally gracious. I was told that Goodman is not a fan of taking pics, but perhaps there was a little American bonding between us?!?! 🙂