You want to reach out and empty the cigarettes out of the ash trays when you see the set for the Aurora Theater production of David Mamet's classic "American Buffalo," directed by Barbara Damashek. The garbage strewn around the room is an apt metaphor for the low-level heist our characters are planning.
Donny, at least, is doing his best to be good to Bobby (Rafael Jordan), a younger man who appears to be a simpleton. Bobby is just trying to please his two friends, but this doesn't stop Teach from considering him a rival.
American Buffalo opened on Broadway in 1975 and hasn't lost a bit. We still cringe and shift in our seats, laugh where we're supposed to, and by the time the curtain comes down we are already wondering who is going to have to clean all this garbage off the stage. It's a great Buffalo.
RATINGS: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
The San Francisco Theater Blog Awards Division awards "American Buffalo" Four Stars. All three actors are excellent, with a special kudos to James Carpenter who really seems to understand Teach's sublimated desperation. Terrific casting, terrific show.
The Aurora Theatre
2081 Addison Street, Berkeley
Through July 13