Saturday, February 20, 2010

American Buffalo. Third Rail

By David Mamet
Director: Daniel Stern
Donny ..... Bruce Burkhartsmeier
Bobby ..... Brian Weaver
Teach  ..... Tim True
LINK:  American Buffalo

sez says: David Mamet is like a magnet for me. That is because a view through his window on the world never fails to leave me thinking..and often feeling...something new.  American Buffalo is not a new play, but I had not seen it before and I am glad for the opportunity to be introduced to it by this production.  Weaver and True brought their characters to life with performances that exceeded 100% involvement. They passed by something that might be called 'perfect portrayals' and added that magical extra piece to their presentation of these characters. They gave us a glimmer of the souls of  Bobby and Teach. And, nothing less than that would do this play justice.  Mamet has written a play that presents men who are inarticulate.  The very nature of these characters is their limited ability to use words to explain themselves: their desires, their pain, their aspirations, their fears,  their affections, and so on.  So to know them, to see them, to grasp them, the men who portray them (the actors) must show us who they are...becasue the script alone cannot do it --the script only lets us see them struggling to find a way to express themselves...words are not tools they are skilled using/ that is part of the point of the play/--so their actions must do much of their speaking.  And True and Weaver pulled it off, they bring Bobby and Teach to life.  Having a limited verbal vocabulary they do much of their speaking through their actions, and their kind of talk is rough and violent and lacks order.  You can think what you want of Donny and Bobby and Teach. But I have no doubt that men like them exist. And knowing they are among us is at least a step toward seeing the full expanse of our culture and its products--the things we are given, and that we create, that we throw away. They all wait in the silent dark for us.  GRADE B+

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