Al Pacino-led China Doll begins performances tonight

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet's new drama China Doll, starring Oscar and two-time Tony winner Al Pacino begins previews tonight at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The production will officially open on 19 November 2015 and play a limited engagement through to 31 January 2016.

According to Mamet, China Doll, which will be directed by Tony winner Pam Mackinnon, is a play about "a wealthy man, his young fiance, and an airplane. The man has just bought a new plane as a wedding present for the girl. He intends to go into semi-retirement, and enjoy himself. 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. The characters are Mickey Ross, a billionaire; Carson, the assistant, and a telephone."

He then added: "I wrote it for Al. It is better than oral sex."

Mr Pacino also previously commented: "For me over the years the relationship and the collaboration with David Mamet has been one of the richest and most rewarding. 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. So Dave gave me China Doll, a new play he had written for me and it blew me away - 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."

The cast of includes Al Pacino (Mickey Ross) and Christopher Denham (Carson).

The creative team for China Doll features scenic design by Tony winner Derek McLane, lighting design by Russell H. Champa, and costume design by Tony winner Jess Goldstein.

China Doll is produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, and Steve Traxler and marks their tenth presentation of a David Mamet work on Broadway and the West End.

Al Pacino won Tony Awards in 1969 and 1977 for 'Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?' and 'The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel', respectively. He was also nominated in 2011 for 'The Merchant of Venice'. He was last seen on Broadway in David Mamet's 'Glengarry Glen Ross.' Other Broadway credits include 'Salome', 'Hughie', 'Chinese Coffee', Mamet's 'American Buffalo', 'King Richard III', and 'Camino Real'. He won an Academy Award in 1993 for 'Scent of a Woman' and has been nominated a further seven times. His many film credits include 'The Godfather trilogy', 'Heat', 'Scarface', 'Angels in America', 'Dick Tracy', 'Any Given Sunday', 'Donnie Brasco' and '...And Justice For All'.

- by Tom Millward

Al Pacino

Originally published on

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