China Doll, a two-character play that follows a billionaire named Mickey Ross — who has just bought an airplane for his young fiancée as he prepares to go into semi-retirement — will be directed by Tony winner Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Clybourne Park).
"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…," Mamet said in a statement about the character of Ross, whom Pacino described as "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," he added.
Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler will produce the new play, which will run at a Shubert theatre to be announced.
Along with starring in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway, Pacino starred in a 1992 film version of the play as well as a 1983 Broadway production of Mamet's American Buffalo. He described his relationship and collaboration with Mamet as "one of the richest and most rewarding," adding, "We’ve done four projects together and the opportunity to create a new character in the David Mamet canon was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Dave gave me China Doll, a new play he had written for me and it blew me away." Pacino made his Broadway debut in 1969 with Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, which won him a Featured Actor Tony Award. His screen credits include "The Godfather" and "Scent of a Woman." Other credits include Camino Real, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (Tony Award), King Richard III, American Buffalo, Chinese Coffee, Hughie and The Merchant of Venice.
Mamet, a Pulitzer Prize winner for Glengarry Glen Ross, is also the author of The Anarchist, A Life in the Theatre, Race, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, November, The Old Neighborhood and The Water Engine/Mr. Happiness.