Pasadena Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps directs the revival slated to open Sept. 1 for a run scheduled through Oct. 1 at the California company's home.
"This is the kind of incredible cast that a director dreams of and prays for. This tremendous group of artists coming together for this production is a great tribute to August Wilson and a genuine sign of the deep admiration and devotion that his writing inspires in actors," said Epps. "I know that this is a combination of players who will produce genuine theatrical fireworks in this beautiful and moving play."
"This is our way of honoring August — and also the brilliant Lloyd Richards, the director who helped create many of his plays," concluded Epps. Both playwright Wilson and his longtime collaborator Richards died in the last year.
The 1950-60's Pittsburgh-set drama follows the struggle of a former Negro League baseball player who now finds himself working as a garbage collector. Fences not only earned the Tony Awards for Best Play, but also the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Lloyd Richards directed the original Broadway run in 1987 which starred James Earl Jones, Mary Alice and newcomer Courtney B. Vance (Bassett's husband). Richards, Jones and Alice also took home Tony Awards for their work.
The duo of Fishburne and Bassett — who have co-starred in the films "Boyz 'N the Hood," "What's Love Got to Do with It?" and recently "Akeelah and the Bee" — are joined by Hardison ("A Different World"), Jones ("Drumline") as well as Bryan Clark (His Girl Friday), Wendell Pierce (The Boys of Winter) and Victoria Matthews (Les Miserables). Fishburne earned his Tony for August Wilson's Two Trains Running. He recently appeared on Broadway in The Lion in Winter but is well known for turns in such movies as "The Matrix" trilogy, "Mission: Impossible III," "Assault on Precinct 13," "Miss Evers' Boys," "The Tuskegee Airmen," "The Color Purple," "The Cotton Club" and "Apocalypse Now" among others.
Bassett appeared in the original Broadway staging of Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Though she has also appeared on stage in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, she is perhaps best known for her film work which include "Malcolm X," "Waiting to Exhale," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," "F/X" and "City of Hope."
Tickets to Fences at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Ave. In Pasadena, CA are available by calling (626) 356-PLAY. For more information, visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.