The Pasadena Playhouse and South Coast Repertory (SCR) are transferring the SCR production of August Wilson’s Jitney to the Playhouse stage with a press opening on Sunday, June 24, 2012. Ron OJ Parson directs an all-star cast led by Charlie Robinson as Becker.
"The director and the SCR creative staff have brought together a fine and impressive group of actors for our shared production of this beautifully written play,” stated Sheldon Epps, artistic director of The Pasadena Playhouse. “I look forward to having this cast on our stage and to the theatrical vitality that they will bring to August's compelling text. Along with our fine director, I know that this company will deliver this production of Jitney with great success."
“Jitney is a visceral play that succeeds on the strength of the ensemble,” said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “I am particularly proud of the fine actors and designers who have assembled at SCR for this production under Ron's direction.”
The full cast also features (in alphabetical order): Larry Bates as Youngblood, Rolondo Boyce as Shealy, Gregg Daniel as Philmore, Kristy Johnson as Rena, David McNight as Fielding, Montae Russell as Booster, James A. Watson, Jr. as Doub and Ellis Williams as Turnbo.
Jitney is the first play Wilson wrote in his renowned “Pittsburgh Cycle” which chronicles the African-American experience in his childhood neighborhood, decade by decade, over the course of the 20th century. Of the ten plays in the “Cycle,” Jitney is the seventh in the series and is the winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Olivier Award for Best New Play.
It is 1977 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District – a neighborhood that legitimate cabs will not travel to. Out of these circumstances, unlicensed gypsy cabs – jitneys – emerge to drive the locals around town. The story unfolds in Becker’s (Robinson) storefront jitney station where a motley crew share stories and meddle in each other’s lives.
But urban renewal now threatens to tear down the station and Becker’s son Booster (Montae Russell) returns home after a 20-year stint in prison. Old cronies drop in, fights break out and lovers make up – and just as we get to know them, Wilson asks us to look again.
Jitney previews June 21 through 23, opens 5 p.m. Sunday, June 24 and performs Tuesday through Sunday through July 15. Tickets range from $20 - $60, with premium seating available for $100. Rush tickets are available for $15 one hour prior to the performance time and are subject to availability. Rush tickets must be purchased at box office. Call 626-356-7529 or visit the box office or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org. Group Sales (8 or more) are available by calling 626-921-1161.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena.
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