It's Halloween night. Mike ("20/20") and his half brother, Billy ("Torch"), have retreated to an abandoned crack den on the Lower East Side in the aftermath of a drug heist gone sour. Torch has just killed one of the henchmen of the neighborhood's reigning drug lord. Having planned no means of escape, Mike summons his former colleague Tony ("The Tiger") to help them out of this jam. What follows is a continuing three-way confrontation in which guns are drawn, allegiances shifted and secrets uncovered. Themes of lost brotherhood and friendship are evident, while the bleakness of each of the characters' lives is chillingly suggested. The jittery Torch recounts the fight that led to the killing of the small-time punk with a harrowing, perplexed sense of detachment. Mike recounts a heavy-breathing date with a woman so hot she would look good even "if you dressed her up in garbage bags and put TV dinners on her head." As the play races towards its climax, Tony recites a flashy, epic jailhouse poem that is both cynical and romantically heroic, and it touches the very heart of each of the characters' shared sense of delusion.
Produced at the acclaimed Circle Repertory in New York City, RIFF RAFF marks the playwriting debut of one of Hollywood's most exciting and versatile actors. "Mr. Fishburne is surprisingly and effectively understated, with scalding bubbles of anxiety breaking through a surface of a numbed calm." —NY Times. "Fishburne has a talent and a quality…[he] possesses one of the vital requirements of a playwright—a good ear for the things people say and the way they say them." —NY Post.