In his first Broadway appearance since his widely acclaimed, Emmy-winning TV performance as serial killer Andrew Cunanan, Darren Criss will join the previously announced Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell in the upcoming revival of David Mamet’s American Buffalo, producer Jeffrey Richards announced today.
The production, directed by Neil Pepe, will mark Criss’ return to Broadway after starring in 2015’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch revival, and his first since winning the Emmy last year for his performance in FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
American Buffalo will begin previews on March 24, 2020, at the Circle in the Square Theatre, with an official opening on Tuesday, April 14.
Criss will play Bobby, the youngest in the play’s triumvirate of small-time hustlers looking to make a big score. Fishburne, last on Broadway in 2008’s one-man play Thurgood, will play the character Donny. Rockwell, returning to Broadway after 2014’s Fool For Love by Sam Shepard, will play Teach.
The full American Buffalo creative team will be announced at a later date. Richards leads the producing team.
Criss made his Broadway debut in 2012 as J. Pierrepont Finch in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, having already made his TV breakthrough on Fox’s Glee. Next up, he’ll appear alongside Woody Harrelson and Mandy Moore in Midway, the Roland Emmerich-directed World War II film in theaters Nov. 8.
A modern stage classic – and one of Mamet’s greatest – American Buffalo premiered on Broadway in 1977, with John Savage in the role Criss will play. That production starred Robert Duvall as Teach and Kenneth McMillan as Donny. A 1981 Off Broadway production (at Circle in the Square) starred Al Pacino, Thomas Waites and, as Bobby, Clifton James. (Subsequent New York stagings included a Broadway revival in ’83, headed by Pacino, and a flop 2008 revival starring Cedric the Entertainer, Haley Joel Osment and John Leguizamo; Sean Nelson played Bobby in the 1996 film version.)
Criss has been busier than ever since Versace, having recently wrapped production on the Quibi musical comedy series Royalties, which he created, starred in, executive produced, and wrote songs for. It’s set for an early 2020 release on the Jeffrey Katzenberg/Meg Whitman shortform video platform.
Criss is currently in production on Netflix’s Hollywood, reuniting him – as both the star and exec producer – with his Glee and Versace producer Murphy. The limited series will launch in May 2020.
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