Cast and designers have been set for the Mark Taper Forum's The West Coast premiere of August Wilson's first play, Jitney. A Mark Taper statement indicates that rehearsals have begun and that previews will begin on schedule, Jan. 23. The show opens Feb. 3 and runs through March 19.
Marion McClinton directs Wilson's latest drama, which deals with a gypsy cab company (or jitney station) in Pittsburgh, circa 1970.
Working at the company are a group of black men scraping out a living as best they can. All is about to change if the city, in its urban renewal mode, makes good on its threat to board the office up. Wilson's central character is Charles Becker, owner of the unlicensed company, who must also face his estranged son, who is coming home after 20 years in jail.
Jitney continues Wilson's ambitious collection of plays that follow the African-American experience through each of the decades in the 20th century.
Mark Taper Forum is located at 135 N. Grand Ave. For tickets and information call (213) 628- 2772 or visit www.TaperAhmanson.com. -- By Murdoch McBride -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent