Al Pacino will star in new David Mamet play

No one can pen profanity quite like playwright David Mamet. His mastery of the verbally obscene apparently also extends to press releases.

On Thursday, producers announced that Mamet will be teaming up again with Al Pacino on a new play that will begin performances in New York in October 2015.

“China Doll,” written by Mamet, is a two-character play in which Pacino will star as a billionaire who is having an especially busy day. (The other character is his assistant.)


In the official release, Mamet is quoted as saying: “I wrote it for Al. It is better than oral sex.”

The playwright describes the drama as the story of a “wealthy man, his young fiancee, and an airplane. The man has just bought a new plane as a wedding present for the girl. He intends to go into semiretirement, 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 …"

No dates or theater have been announced. Tony Award-winner Pam MacKinnon will direct the production. (She is currently staging the upcoming Broadway revival of “A Delicate Balance,” starring Glenn Close and John Lithgow.)

Pacino said in the release that the new Mamet play features 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 actor has had a long working relationship with Mamet. He appeared in a production of “American Buffalo” in 1983 as well as the 1991 film version of “Glengarry Glen Ross.” More recently, they collaborated on the HBO movie “Phil Spector” and the 2012 Broadway revival of “Glengarry.”

Mamet’s last new play to open on Broadway was another two-character study, “The Anarchist,” which flopped in 2012.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT