It may be that “American Buffalo” belongs in the junk shop where it’s set — a token of bicentennial Americana with questionable lasting value. Like the novelty coin at its center, David Mamet’s vulgar and compact heist drama no longer carries practical modern-day currency. It has very little, if anything, to say about American dreams and their fallacies that has not been said many times over — and in more broad-minded and sophisticated ways — since the play’s 1975 premiere.
But polished up here by performances from its marquee stars, particularly Sam Rockwell, and through captivating feats of design from its creative team, the revival at Circle in the Square will at least invite those who are curious to linger and turn it over. Whether they buy it will depend on their investment in shopworn fables of American greed, and their taste for motor-mouthed posturing and misogyny.