By Sydney Bucksbaum
June 25, 2020 at 03:43 PM EDT
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Michael Brosilow; Matthew Murphy

American Buffalo and The Minutes will return to Broadway, just a little later than intended.

It was announced on Thursday that both plays have been scheduled to open in spring 2021, a year after their original opening dates. The delay is a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"It is the intent to open these plays — both powerful, funny and relevant dissections of Americana — in the spring of 2021, on the exact dates they were scheduled to open in 2020," the producers of The Minutes and American Buffalo said in a statement. "However, we will only do so knowing that there are safeguards in place that will encourage audiences to return to the theatre, and that our government will allow us to have gatherings of more than 500 people. We, the producing team, believe that a vaccine is essential as part of that process, and we are hopeful that progress will be made in that area to ensure that artists and theatregoers will return to support this vital element of our theatrical heritage: the American play."

David Mamet's American Buffalo, directed by Neil Pepe, will debut April 14, 2021, with previews beginning March 22, 2021, at the Circle in the Square Theater. It originally premiered back in 1977, and the current revival was set to star Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell, and Darren Criss as three small time hustlers who want a bigger cut of the American dream. The classic about loyalty and greed exposes a timely American truth: crime and business are two sides of the same coin. Further details including confirmed casting for the new dates will be announced at a later date.

Steppenwolf’s production of The Minutes by Tracy Letts, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, will begin previews March 1, 2021, and opens officially March 15, 2021, at the Cort Theatre. Previously intended to be a limited engagement, the play was originally set to star Letts along with Armie Hammer, Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, K. Todd Freeman, Danny McCarthy, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, and Jeff Still, however further details including confirmed casting for the new dates will be announced at a later date. The Minutes takes a hard look at the inner workings of a city council meeting and the hypocrisy, greed, and ambition that bubble to the surface when a newcomer to the small town of Big Cherry starts to ask the wrong questions. This powerful, resonant, and funny portrayal of democracy in action proves that everything you know can change — it’s just a matter of minutes. After all, the smallest towns keep the biggest secrets.

The news of American Buffalo and The Minutes returning to Broadway next year comes hot on the heels of Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster's The Music Man revival announcing a Spring 2021 return as well. With the future of so many planned Broadway shows remaining uncertain, these future planned openings represent hope that things can eventually return to normal for live theater once it is safe to do so.

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