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Drowsy Chaperone

By David Mamet

Theatre Jacksonville kicks off its first ever Guerilla Show Series with David Mamet's American Buffalo. Directed by Thomas Trauger, the show runs for four performances only September 15-18. Contemporary and challenging, it's the perfect first choice for the new Guerilla series of minimalist and progressive shows that will run as extras in our 92nd season.

In American Buffalo, a coin collector stumbles across a valuable buffalo nickel in a small Chicago junk shop and purchases it for only $90. Later coming to believe that the coin was worth far more than this and feeling he has been unfairly taken advantage of, Don(T.R. Hainline), the shop owner, becomes determined to steal the coin back. He elicits help from Bobby (Derrick Routier), a young friend, and Teach (Michael Bartlo), a paranoid and violent braggart.

The three conspirators fancy themselves as businessmen pursuing the legitimate concerns of free enterprise. In reality, however, they are merely small time crooks, and all of their plotting amounts to nothing in the end. It is a futile, vulgar, verbal exercise that finally erupts in violence when their failure becomes apparent and the frustration becomes unbearable.

Mamet's award winning early play is emblematic of his writing style, containing dialogue that is sometimes terse and often vulgar. The New York Daily News said, "The obscenities as well as the more homely exchanges compose a litany of the underworld, and Mamet has caught the tone precisely, knowing full well that the trio's words and actions are a form of prayer of the dispossessed."

American Buffalo won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play of the 1977 season, was nominated for two Tony Awards, and four Drama Desk Awards. The 1983 revival was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Reproduction and Al Pacino was nominated for the Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Actor in a Play. In 1996, the play was adapted into a film starring Dennis Franz, Dustin Hoffman and Sean Nelson.

Because of strong, coarse and explicit language, children under 18 will not be admitted without parent or guardian.

September 15**, 16, 17, 18*, 2011


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photos courtesy of
Maya Adkinsguerilla

Theatre Jacksonville programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council,
the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Jacksonville, and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.