Fran Kranz, the “Dollhouse” actor whose recent Broadway credits include “You Can’t Take It With You” and “Death of a Salesman,” will star alongside Pacino in the world premiere of “China Doll.” He’ll play the assistant to Pacino’s character in the two-actor play about a rich man (Pacino) who’s just bought a plane for his fiance. Just before leaving the office he stops to give his assistant (Kranz) a couple of instructions and take one last phone call.
Pacino is one of Broadway’s most consistent box office draws, one of a only a few actors who are sure-thing sales magnets. (Hugh Jackman and Denzel Washington also make the short list.) The production seems likely to have extra luster for ticket buyers due to Pacino’s longstanding relationship with Mamet. Most recently he starred in Mamet’s HBO film “Phil Specter,” and on Broadway he starred in the 2012 revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross” as well as a 1983 staging of “American Buffalo.” The actor also toplined the 1992 film version of “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
“China Doll” producers Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler have previously teamed with Pacino on “Glengarry” as well as “The Merchant of Venice.” They’ve also brought new Mamet plays to Broadway including “November” and “The Anarchist.”
Later this month, Mamet’s “American Buffalo” begins a West End run that stars Damian Lewis and John Goodman.
Pam MacKinnon (“A Delicate Balance,” “The Heidi Chronicles”) helms “China Doll” in a run that begins previews Oct. 20 ahead of a Nov. 19 opening. The current tenant at the Schoenfeld, Helen Mirren starrer “The Audience,” will end its limited run June 28.