I’ll have to get out an August Wilson scorecard soon – not sure how many plays of his I’ve seen. I know he wrote one for each American decade of the 20th century, and wrote others as well.
Jitney, the play for the 70’s, set as many are in Pittsburgh, his hometown, is the story of the men involved in running and working in a car service – what we would call gypsy cabs here in Cincinnati.
His work always rings true. The sounds of the African American community are presented clearly, directly, with great understanding. Only one woman in the play – she also rings true, and is excellent in partnering with her man.
With this play, I was enjoying the interactions of the characters – but began to wonder where the climax was. Where was that pivotal action moment after which everything would change? It was well disguised, and when it came I was surprised.
The action resumed with changes in all concerned. The outcome is very hopeful and headed in the right direction.
Technically, the play was very well done. And the acting, even through re-organized casting due to an actor’s illness on this, the very last performance, was outstanding. The play was held in the just recently opened Madisonville Arts Center.
Excellent all around – and much credit to director Lyle Benjamin. Cincinnati, already a great theater town, needs more theater like this.