The Theater: David Mamet's Bond of Futility

AMERICAN BUFFALO by DAVID MAMET

Even before the action starts at Manhattan's Ethel Barrymore Theater, Santo Loquasto's setting begins to tell the story. It depicts a junk shop, a clutter of old furniture, toys and appliances that poignantly reflect the battered, grimy souls who cast them off.

Similarly, David Mamet's play is a sort of junk shop of language, and it too is forlornly eloquent. The speech of Mamet's three characters—the owner of the store and two neighborhood punks who hang out there—is an incrustation of street slang, non sequiturs, malapropisms and compulsive obscenity....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!