Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Montana Actors’ Theatre returns to the stage this week and next with a production of David Mamet’s highly acclaimed “American Buffalo.” “It’s about three guys trying to rip off some coins to make money, but they go through many trials and tribulations,” said Samantha Pollington, who is directing the play with her husband, Tolan Harber. “They butt heads on just about everything. “It’s not about buffaloes,” she added. The play, set in 1970s Chicago, stars Martin Holt as Donny, the owner of a pawn shop, and Dennis Teigeler as Teach and Matt Twedt as Bobby, his associates in the planned robbery of a collection of rare coins. Teigeler said the rehearsals have been fast he didn’t receive a script until Oct. 15 and had to go out of town for a week on business, so couldn’t start rehearsing until just more than two weeks ago but seems to be working. “It’s been hectic,” he said, adding, “Everybody’s been great. We’re pulling it all together.” Pollington said it was difficult putting a cast together, probably because of the many conflicts with fall events and the fact that it is a three-person cast. “Everyone knows that if it’s a three-person show it’s a lot of work for the people putting it on,” she said. The play offers the opportunity for Hi-Line residents to see one of Mamet’s most famous plays. The writer, also known for his plays “Glengarry Glenn Ross” and “Speed-the-Plow” and his screenplays “The Verdict” and “Wag the Dog,” as well as his work on the CBS television series “The Unit,” first opened “American Buffalo” in Chicago in 1975. The list of actors who followed in productions reads like a who’s who in acting: Robert Duvall starred in a Broadway production in 1977, then Al Pacino starred in an off-Broadway production that went on Broadway in 1983 and 1984. Dustin Hoffman headlined a cast in a movie version produced in 1996, and William H. Macy starred in an Atlantic City production in 2000. The play opens once again on Broadway next week, starring Cedric the Entertainer as Donny, John Leguizamo as Teach and Haley Joel Osment as Bobby. Pollington said that the play is both dramatic and funny, but is not for younger audiences. The play, typical of Mamet, has adult language and content. She said it also highlights one of Mamet’s most enduring traits writing dramatic dialogue that sounds real. “He puts the way people really talk to each other on the stage,” Pollington said. The play opens Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., followed by another run with curtain at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 22. The backstage lounge, sponsored by Northwinds Casino, opens at 7:30 p.m. each night. There is a nominal charge for admission with discount for students.