August Wilson's highly-acclaimed play Jitney is pulling into Houston's Alley Theatre Jan. 16. The drama, the first play written by the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, began previews on the Large Stage Jan. 11 for a run through Feb. 9. Jonathan Wilson (the Alley's Seven Guitars) directs.
Jitney offers a look into 1970s Pittsburgh and the lives of a group of black men scraping out a living in a gypsy cab company (or jitney station). The play's central character, Charles Becker, is the owner of the unlicensed company who must deal with the city's plan to board up his business. He's also thrown by his the return of his son, Booster after 20 years in prison. Other Wilson works include Two Trains Running, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars and Fences.
Jitney stars Wayne DeHart as Fielding, Henry Giles as Philmore, Steven J. Scott as Youngblood, Lawrence James as Becker, Alex Allen Morris as Doub, Phillip Edward VanLear as Shealy, Penelope Walker as Rena, Clifton Williams as Booster and Cedric Young (The Song of Jacob Zulu) as Turnbo.
Designing the drama are Scott Bradley (sets), Linda Ross (costumes), Michael Lincoln (lighting) and Jim Ragland (sound).
Tickets are $50-$35. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue. For reservations, call (713) 228-8421 or (800) 259-ALLE. The Alley Theatre is on the web at http://www.alleytheatre.com. — By Christine Ehren
and David Lefkowitz