Baltimore's CenterStage will welcome 1999 with August Wilson's look at the 1970's with their production of Jitney , beginning previews Jan. 8, for a Jan. 8-Feb. 14, run.
Jitney is Wilson's earliest play (1979), which has been recently revised and been receiving numerous production nationwide. The play takes place in the Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1977. The urban renewal wrecking ball is about to descend on a small gypsy cab company -- the transportation lifeline for many urban blacks. Besides running the struggling jitney business, Becker's life changes drastically when his son Booster shows up after 20 years in prison.
The play is part of Wilson's decade-by-decade chronicle of the twentieth century. Other plays include: Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1910's), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1920's), The Piano Lesson (1930's), Seven Guitars (1940's), Fences (1950's), and Two Trains Running (1960's).
Earlier this week it was announced that the latest play in the series, King Hedley II, (looking at the 80's) will premiere in the fall of '99 at Pittsburgh's Public Theatre.
For tickets and information on Jitney, or other shows in the '99 Center Stage season, call (410) 332-0033. -- By Sean McGrath