Synthetic Unlimited will premier “American Buffalo,” the first of six shows this season in its new 50-seat black box theater Thursday (April 10).
Known as the Synthetic Unlimited Opera House, the space will accommodate David Mamet’s gritty comedy “American Buffalo,” starring Gary Wright as Don Dubrow.
Mamet wrote the play in 1975, it debuted on Broadway in 1977, and won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play of the season. Don, Teach, and Bobby, three low-life Chicago characters, swap stories and insults in Don’s cluttered junk shop, and conspire to steal a rare coin collection.
As junk shop owner Don draws a new kid into the plot, they turn against each other and him.
Mamet is known for his terse, vulgar writing style, with the three characters using the F-word, and C-word liberally, and engaging in audacious stage violence, according to Synthetic Unlimited.
Despite the language, director Jimmy McCammon writes, “One common element in most of Mamet’s writing is that every character he creates ultimately gives the audience reason to doubt their morality, thereby taking the old hero/villain archetypes we are used to and consistently turning them on their head. So, if you are looking for the bad guy in a Mamet play, you would do well to look at everyone, including yourself.”
Both Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman have played leads in “American Buffalo” on stage and film. Synthetic Unlimited’s production will feature local actors Wright, Synthetic Unlimited regular Micah Cone, and Tom Wolfe (of KVMR’s Word in Edgewise radio show).
Wright’s local acting credits include 15 seasons as an associate artist with the Foothill Theatre Company where he appeared in more than 60 productions, and two solo shows at LeGacy Productions.
Regional credits include appearances at the B Street Theatre, Capital Stage, Music Circus, Sacramento Theatre Company, and the Lake Tahoe, Colorado, and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals.
“This play is about friendship and why we try, with varying success, to separate it from business relationships. We want our friends to do well, but we want our business associates to do just slightly less well than ourselves,” wrote McCammon, who also manages the nonprofit theatre company.
“American Buffalo” runs from Thursday through April 26 at the new Synthetic Unlimited Opera House at 120 Joerschke Drive, Grass Valley.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with one Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. April 20.
Tickets are $20, or $15 for SU members, and are available at www.syntheticunlimited.org, 1-888-95-SHOWS, or at BriarPatch Co-op in Grass Valley.
More information about season passes is available on the Synthetic Unlimited website, Facebook page, or on location during office hours, noon-6 p.m. Thursday- Sunday.