“AMERICAN BUFFALO” STAMPEDES
ACROSS HARTFORD THEATERWORKS

BONNIE GOLDBERG

Colorful and coarse language clutters the junk shop, along with the guitars, lamps, coat racks and minutia, of the thousand and one items that litter Donny’s place of business.  It is a catch-all for the dregs of humanity as well as for the cast offs abandoned by derelict lives.  Here Donny presides over his little kingdom of sorrows, scratching out a living, trying to stay afloat in a world he wants to command.

Let David Mamet introduce you to the pitiful pleasures of Donny’s Chicago environment in the dark, dark comedy “American Buffalo” residing at Hartford TheaterWorks until Sunday, October 25.

John Ahlin’s Donny Dubrow has a plan, not a great plan, and not a well thought out plan, but a plan nonetheless.  He wants to stage a heist and steal a valuable coin collection from a man who frequented his establishment and cheated him on a coin he purchased, a Buffalo nickel.

Armed with a blue book of coin values and a vague idea, he enlists the aid of his cohort Teach, masterfully played by Andrew Benator, a real class A loser who is so full of himself it’s amazing his head fits through the junk shop door.  Ineptitude is his speciality but you could never convince him of it.  Between the two men there is barely enough sense to spread as cream cheese on a bagel.

Completing the trio is Bobby (Zachary Spicer), a well meaning but slow witted young man who tries desperately to be helpful and to fit in with the gang.  When Fletch, their original choice, fails to show up to help pull off the crime, it looks like Bobby will have to be enlisted by default.  Bad turns to worse as these three bungle their way out the junk shop’s door.  Steve Campo directs this caper of “dumb and dumber” with a talented cast where the Three Musketeers morph into the Three Mouseketeers.

For tickets ($38-48-60), call TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at www.theaterworkshartford.org.   Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2:30 p.m.   Come early and enjoy the Cityscape art work at the gallery upstairs on loan from the New Britain Museum of American Art and the refreshments at the bar courtesy of bin 228.

On Sunday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. CONCORA, Connecticut’s premier choral organization, will present “On the Town!,” featuring Broadway songs, contemporary pop songs and jazz standards woven together with dialogue inspired by the show.  Call 860-224-7500 or online at www.concora.org for ticket information.

On Sunday, October 25 the theater will hold an auction “Steve’s Selling Out” of all the stuff on Adrian W. Jones’ unique set of the show, plus secretly planted valuable items like art and jewelry as well as goodies from past TheaterWorks’ productions. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the auction starts at 7:30 p.m., with tickets $24. Call 860-527-7838 to reserve your spot.  The cast of “American Buffalo” will help with the sale.

Discover what not to do if you are planning on entering the precarious world of crime any time in the next decade.

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