Playwright-actor John Henry Redwood returns to the Pittsburgh Public Theater April 8 to recreate the role of Troy Maxson in colleague August Wilson's Fences.
The play, about a fierce garbage hauler whose earlier dreams in the Negro baseball league were thwarted, was a hit at the Pennsylvania nonprofit in 1989, with Redwood. The actor subsequently played the role in seven different productions.
The Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning drama, which pits father against son, opens April 16 and continues to May 16. The close date reflects a one-week extension, due to ticket demand.
Wilson, a Pittsburgh native, set his play in the city's Hill District in 1957. Wilson himself returns to Pittsburgh in December 1999 for the world premiere of his new work, King Hedley II, which will play the company's newly-built downtown venue, the O'Reilly Theater.
"Before we added that extra week, we were at 90 percent capacity," Public publicist Tim Colbert told Playbill On-Line. "Pittsburgh loves August Wilson, he's the hometown favorite." The cast of Fences, directed by Marion Isaac McClinton, includes James Williams, Ami Brabson, Keith Glover, Cortez Nance Jr., Kaitlyn Findley, P. Danielle Mason and Lloyd Goodman. Director McClinton will also stage King Hedley II for the Public.
Glover, who plays Troy's elder son Lyons, is the young actor-playwright who wrote the regionally popular Thunder Knocking on the Door.
Fences designers are David Gallo (set), Michael Krass (costumes) and Tom Sturge (lighting).
Tickets are $15-$36. For information, call (412) 321-9800.
The April 8 preview weekend of Redwood's acting job in Pittsburgh coincides with the April 9 opening in Cleveland of his play, The Old Settler, at the Cleveland Play House.
The warm-hearted, bittersweet comedy about middle-aged ladies who take in a handsome boarder continues to May 9 in Ohio.
-- By Kenneth Jones and David Lefkowitz