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November 2008
Cedric The Entertainer news

Cedric The Entertainer news
Comedian makes his Broadway debut in David Mamet's American Buffalo
by Wilson Morales

November 23, 2008

Having established himself as comedian for most of his career with a TV series and numerous films to his credit, including 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa', which is currently in theaters, Cedric the Entertainer is taking on another challenging position, doing straight talk on the Great White Way.

In his Broadway debut, Cedric is starring with John Leguizamo and Haley Joel Osment in the revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo, which is playing at the Belasco Theatre.

The play concerns a team of men, Don, Teach, Bob, and Fletcher (who does not appear in the play, but is referred to), who are conspiring to steal a coin collection from a wealthy man.Cedric, who plays Don, the owner a junk shop, is the only one on stage throughout the show.

In speaking with Cedric at the premiere last night, he talked about doing the show.

Cedric: Oh, man, this is pretty incredible. It's something that I wanted to try to conquer, and you want to have the opportunity to say that I performed on Broadway on my resume. But I had no idea it was going to be this much work. It's totally different than film. With a movie, you read the script once or twice, and then you prepare to do your scenes. You go out and get your closeup and your wide and your medium shots, and then you go to the trailer. With this, once the curtain goes up, you're out there the whole time and holding it down, so it has been really tough.

How does it feel when you are the only one of the three who never leaves the stage?

Cedric: I'm never off stage in this play, so I work really hard. David Mamet, of course, has a lot of words, a lot of wordplay, a lot of subtext. You gotta go and listen to what he has written, and then break it down and see what you really mean by that and try to give it some depth.

Since you've done plenty of stand-up shows, how was it working with others on the stage with you at the same time?

Cedric: That's the other thing. Usually as a standup, I'm usually in control of that live audience. I'm used to performing in front of a live audience, but it's what I want to do, it's where I want to take them, and I have the opportunity to abbreviate and jump off and change the course if I feel like the energy is changing. But here you're performing someone else's words, and you gotta deliver them, man. It's tough. And you also gotta make sure you hold everything up for your co-stars. You give them their cues and make it so that they know where they're going to go next. And that's a great responsibility.

Had you seen any stage version prior to this or the film version?

Cedric: I saw the movie version with Dennis Franz and Dustin Hoffman, which was different. It was a little slower. It was hard to watch. We tried to move it along. I thought it was great that we had this multi-cultural cast, and it feels modern. It feels like the world that we live in today. I'm excited about doing a nice little run.

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