Jitney Broadway

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Jitney Broadway – Review

Jitney is the last play to be produced on Broadway from August’s Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning collection “Pittsburgh Cycle”. Set in the autumn of 1977, Jitney is an insightful meditation on poverty and race in 1970s America. The characters are lovingly written, well developed and bursting with life. No one character stands out particularly. Rather, the ensemble blends together to produce truly transcendent theater. Similarly, the scriptwriting and production values offer a tenderness to the stark story.

Jitney is set in a Pittsburgh gypsy cab company (“jitneys” are unlicensed cabs) at a tense point in time. The city is planning to evict them from their building, and the boss’s son is back from prison where he served time for a racially motivated murderer. The cast of characters struggle on the edge of poverty, homelessness, alcoholism, and prison. Their everyday small talk revolves around where they’ll sleep that night, how they’ll pay for food, or if it’s feasible to get a job with a criminal record. Jitney is a haunting insight into the lives of these black men striving to survive in a white man’s world. The play is stronger for its inclusion of an all-black cast.

Jitney acts as a fantastic primer on race and poverty. Each character gets fair stage time, allowing them to unfold as real humans with understandable motivations. The mix of familial obligation and self-striving permeates Jitney, offering the play a real heart that is breath-taking to behold. Particularly in the tense modern political climate, Jitney feels relevant and important. Above all, the play creates an enduring and affecting sense of time, place, and circumstance that will hit home for all sorts of audiences.

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Jitney Broadway NYC

Theater: Samuel J Friedman Theatre
Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes (1 intermission)
Starring: Anthony Chisholm, Andre Holland, Brandon J. Dirden

The Broadway premiere of Jitney began previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on December 28, 2016 and opened on January 19, 2017. The play, produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

Legendary playwright August Wilson’s American Century Cycle play makes its Broadway premiere.

CAST & CREATIVE for Jitney

Cast: Fielding – Anthony Chisholm, Youngblood – Andre Holland, Rooster – Brandon J. Dirden, Shealy – Harvy Blanks, Rena – Carra Patterson, Turnbo – Michael Potts, Doub – Keith Randolph Smith, Philmore – Ray Anthony Thomas, Becker – John Douglas Thompson

Creative: Written by August Wilson, Director – Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Set Designer – David Gallo, Costume Designer – Toni-Leslie James, Lighting Designer – Jane Cox, Sound Designer – Darron L West, Original Music – Bill Sims Jr.

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