The show marks Rockwell’s first appearance on the Great White Way since his 2014 performance in the revival of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love.” The five-year absence saw him pick up an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and another nomination for his work in “Vice.” It’s been 11 years since Fishburne’s last Broadway show, his 2008 one-man play “Thurgood.”
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Mamet will reunite with director Neil Pepe for the show; Pepe previously oversaw productions of the playwright’s “Speed-the-Plow” and “A Life in the Theatre.” The exact theater will be announced at a later date, but performances are scheduled to begin in March 2020 with an official opening on Tuesday, April 14th, 2020. Jeffrey Richards, Steve Traxler, and Stephanie P. McClelland are heading the production team.
“American Buffalo” is one of Mamet’s most acclaimed and oft-revived plays. It revolves around a junk shop owner’s sale of a potentially valuable coin and his attempts to steal it back. Fishburne will play Donny, the store’s owner, and Rockwell will portray Teach, his profane and hot-headed friend. “American Buffalo” premiered on Broadway in 1977 and was revived for a well-received 1983 production with Al Pacino. A 2008 revival with Cedric the Entertainer, Haley Joel Osment, and John Leguizamo was critically panned and closed after eight performances. Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz starred in a 1996 movie adaptation.
Fishburne received an Oscar nomination for his work in “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” He also appeared in the Matrix franchise and in “Boyz in the Hood.” For his stage work, Fishburne won a Tony for August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running.”
In addition to his recent Oscar action, Rockwell recently earned an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of director and choreographer Bob Fosse on FX’s “Fosse/Verdon.” Other film credits include “Laggies,” “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and “Moon.”