The Verdict: Critics Review David Mamet Drama China Doll, Starring Al Pacino | Playbill

The Verdict The Verdict: Critics Review David Mamet Drama China Doll, Starring Al Pacino Tony, Emmy and Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino returns to Broadway in David Mamet's new drama China Doll, officially opens to the press Dec. 4. Critics have begun filing their reviews. Here's what they have to say.

The new American drama, which began previews Oct. 21 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, had been scheduled to open Nov. 19, but was pushed back to give the creative team additional time to work on the show. The company still celebrated their original Nov. 19 opening with a party.

In light of that, members of the press broke with tradition and began publishing their reviews the morning of Dec. 4. will continue to update reviews as they come in.

Associated Press Chicago Tribune


The Guardian

Financial Times

The Hollywood Reporter


New York Daily News

New York Times 

Time Out New York



Wall Street Journal

The Wrap



The two-character play from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Glengarry Glen Ross follows a billionaire named Mickey Ross, who has just bought an airplane for his young fiancée as he prepares to go into semi-retirement.

"He's in the process of leaving his office, and is giving last minute instructions to his young assistant. He takes one last phone call…," Mamet said in a statement about the character of Ross, whom Pacino described as "one of the most daunting and challenging roles I've been given to explore onstage.

"It's a special gift to originate a role in the theatre, especially written by such a formidable writer, and I haven't done that in a long, long time," he added.

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The limited engagement, originally scheduled for 87 performances, subsequently announced an extension to 97 shows.

Christopher Denham, who co-starred on Broadway in "Master Harold"… and the boys and The Lieutenant of Inishmore, replaced Fran Kranz, who had to withdraw from the production due to scheduling issues, prior to rehearsals.

Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (The Heidi Chronicles, Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) directs.

Creative credits includes scenic design by Tony Award winner Derek McLane (Gigi, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), lighting design by Russell H. Champa [In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)] and costume design by Tony Award winner Jess Goldstein (Jersey Boys, Proof).

Along with starring in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway in 2012-13, Pacino starred in a 1992 film version of the play as well as a 1983 Broadway production of Mamet's American Buffalo. He described his relationship and collaboration with Mamet as "one of the richest and most rewarding," adding, "We’ve done four projects together and the opportunity to create a new character in the David Mamet canon was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Dave gave me China Doll, a new play he had written for me and it blew me away."

Pacino made his Broadway debut in 1969 with Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, which won him a Featured Actor Tony Award. His screen credits include "The Godfather" and "Scent of a Woman." Other credits include Camino Real, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (Tony Award), King Richard III, American Buffalo, Chinese Coffee, Hughie and The Merchant of Venice.

Mamet is also the author of The Anarchist, A Life in the Theatre, Race, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, November, The Old Neighborhood and The Water Engine/Mr. Happiness.

Producers are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler.

Tickets are available for purchase online at or by calling (212) 239-6200.

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