With More Work Needed, David Mamet Drama China Doll, Starring Al Pacino, Delays Opening | Playbill

News With More Work Needed, David Mamet Drama China Doll, Starring Al Pacino, Delays Opening Producers of David Mamet's new drama China Doll have pushed back the opening night by two weeks. The production marks Tony, Emmy and Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino's return to Broadway.

The new American drama, which began previews Oct. 21 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, was scheduled to open Nov. 19; it will now open Dec. 4.

In a press statement the producers said, "The move allows the creative team additional time to work on the play before its world premiere." New York Post columnist Michael Riedel has been chronicling backstage and onstage difficulties with the show during previews.

China Doll is a two-character play that follows a billionaire named Mickey Ross, who has just bought an airplane for his young fiancée as he prepares to go into semi-retirement.

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.

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

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Two-time Tony Award winner Pacino most recently starred on Broadway in Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross in 2012-13. That production also played the much sought-after Schoenfeld Theatre.

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).

"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.

Along with starring in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway, 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, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Glengarry Glen Ross, 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 telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.

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