Best get to this one while you can. Watching rehearsals, Weaver has felt the potency in this group of artists performing this work. If you do go, please tell them Dennis sent you. The plot is something you can simply hang your hat on, but the dreams, back-stories, monologues are where the true tales lie. Newer Post Older Post Home. This ensemble cast is very strong.
I could quibble here and there on opening night, I thought, the final scene was rushed and not fleshed out , but in the face of such a sterling achievement, quibbling seems a little silly. Jitney is also deeply, pleasurably funny — or maybe humorous is a better word: Four years and three Wilson plays later, Weaver’s company is producing another of the African American dramatist’s works dealing with encroachment on black communities — and again, the play strikes a chord in Portland. If you do go, please tell them Dennis sent you. January 28, at 3: Victor Mack, though, steals the show — as the loudmouthed cabbie Turnbo, the Portland theater fixture manages to both serve his role as the play’s comic relief and convey the character’s subtle insecurity. The station’s youngest driver, aptly nicknamed Youngblood, is trying to surprise his wife, Rena, but his sneaking around dredges up old trust issues between the two.
But he has a soft spot, too, in trying to hold his mates together, as they rail against the storm. But even as this impending regression looms plyahouse “Jitney”, Thomas says the play is “surprisingly hopeful,” ever keeping faith in angels and the power of community. Then, there is the cocky, young bull, Youngblood Rodney Hicks who, on the surface, seems to stray from his woman, Rena Ashely Williamsan appealing young lady who just wants to make a good portoand for their child.
The station’s youngest driver, aptly nicknamed Youngblood, is trying to surprise his wife, Rena, but his sneaking around dredges up old trust issues between the two. Arts Resources Oregon ComposersWatch.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Oregon Live LLC. Becker struggles with what to do: Playhousr result is a smooth, accomplished, powerful script — not at all a weak link in the 20 th century cycle, only a less familiar one, and so less likely to be produced.
Shealy is the con artist, running a Numbers racket out of the office, always looking for the next scheme to get him a buck more. Kenerly, as the patriarch of the clan, is especially good, providing us with a complex man, with all his warts in tow, but lending us someone we can embrace.
A wild joyride in August Wilson’s taxicab | Oregon ArtsWatch
And Philmore Ricardy Charles Fabreis a flashy dresser, who seems not to fit into this make-shift world. For more information portlsnd to their site at www.
Thomas, as the director, certainly knows his material and does a terrific plyahouse of leading this exceptional cast. Into his world appears his son, Booster Vin Shambrynow released from prison, after twenty years, for killing playhkuse white man, the father of a daughter he was falsely accused of raping.
What’s more, Wilson puts his lines into the mouths of characters who are colorful, yet never caricatured, and portrayed always with great affection. I recommend this play. Valmont Thomas has acted in or directed several of Wilson’s plays, and his experience with the dramatist’s work is apparent in these strong performances.
Fielding Wrick Jones is the company drunk, jitneyy by the loss of his woman and, in a dream, is stumbling toward Heaven, where she is reaching out for him.
‘Jitney’ assembles a talented cast for a meaningful conversation: theater review
At “Jitney’s” always-buzzing cab station, two words are heard more than any other. Issues of gentrification are in the background of Jitney. Posted by Dennis Sparks at 2: Kenerly takes on a few years and a lot of cares here, stooping beneath the weight of broken hopes and an untenable situation. In August Wilson’s play at Portland Playhouse about the drivers and hang-abouts at an unlicensed-cab station in s Pittsburgh, the famed African-American playwright flaunts his gift of gab with naturalistic, dialect-inflected dialogue, jitmey frequently funny as it is profound.
His pacing is just right, highlighting the quieter moments and monologues, and quickening the pace for the more prickly-charged scenes. Also excellent is Oregon Shakespeare Festival veteran Kevin Kenerly, who embodies the station’s beleaguered boss, Becker, with finely subdued pathos.
Watching rehearsals, Weaver has felt the potency mitney this group of artists performing this work. This is story-telling in the old-fashioned sense, where you have real, flesh-and-blood, down-to-earth, people we can connect with, who may have just walked out of your own neighborhood, exposing real stories of the human condition.
Wilson, who died at age 60 from liver cancer inwas a cazt and meticulously self-created storyteller. King last Fall, again is good as the well-meaning but errant novice to the pack.
All rights reserved About Us. Embodying Wilson’s empathic characters for Portland Playhouse is a cast of prominent Playhousr black actors. Shambry, as his son, who you want to playyouse at and curse at, at the same time, is winning in his attempt to put his life back together. The end may not be the purpose, but how we make the journey. As dark and classically tragic as they can be, his plays revel in the loose and rhythmic and often joyous poetics of black America.
Jones, a mainstay for years on the Portland stage, is very touching as his turn as the troubled sot.
Cast for Jitney in Portland at Portland Playhouse
Wilson is a master at slipping emotion and wisdom into the portand flow of the story, so when the action does crest, it really needs no further jitneu. As the old and young characters act out a debate on race relations that’s been going on since at least the days of MLK and Malcolm X, Wilson, wisely, doesn’t offer any answers. I could quibble here and there on opening night, I thought, the final scene was rushed and not cazt outbut in the face of such a sterling achievement, quibbling seems a little silly.
He feels small and drab Shambry, as his son, Booster, towers over himand yet his quiet power and dignity, grown so brittle that they might break, are discernible to everyone. Victor Mack, though, steals the show — as the porfland cabbie Turnbo, the Portland theater fixture manages to both serve his role as the play’s comic relief and convey the character’s subtle insecurity. In a play as musical as Jitneyweight and timbre and balance matter deeply, and director G.
They are now estranged with seemly no way back. Perhaps, in seeing the plights of others, we will see ourselves, and know we need to pportland to become more than the sum of our parts. What do we teach our offspring, and how does the child become the man? His soundtrack may be blues or jazz or funk rather than 19 th century orchestral Viennese, but both the structure and the ambition of his plays declare a large and probing mind, addressing the contemporary world with a deep portlanr of the masterworks and failures of the past.
It also has an unusual history, essentially premiering twice: What had been a loose and lively if tightly structured jazz funk stops and rethinks itself, diving deeper and stretching farther into the unknown.
The rest of the cast is also uniformly good, showing Wilson and Portland Playhouse audiences another exceptional show. This is a top-flight cast.