"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Dad to Star in L.A. Run of Wilson's Jitney

News   "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Dad to Star in L.A. Run of Wilson's Jitney
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" patriarch James Avery stars in an upcoming Los Angeles revival of August Wilson's Jitney.

Claude Purdy directs the work set to start Oct. 3 and open Oct. 6 at the Lillian Theatre for a run through Nov. 19.

Jitney receives this revival in Los Angeles at the hands of the team behind the 2004 revival of Wilson's Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Director Purdy and star Avery will reunite with actors Russell Andrews and Bill Brown as well as designer Joel Daavid. Also returning are producers Russell Andrews and Alan Naggar of RKA Productions.

Set in 1977's Pittsburgh's Hill District, Jitney follows the story of a man (Avery) who owns a gypsy cab service on the verge of being torn down when his son (Brooks) is released from prison after serving 20 years for a murder charge.

Avery (known for his television work on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Amen" and “The Closer”), Andrews (the upcoming "The Nine") and Brown are joined in the cast by Richard Brooks ("Law and Order"), Lizette Carrion ("Over There"), Alex Morris, Mel Winkler, John Toles-Bey and Darryl Alan Reed.

The design team includes Joel Daavid (set), Nancy Martin (costumes) and Michael Sena (sound). Debra Ann Morris serves as production stage manager. The epic Wilson cycle (in order of decade in which the drama is set) includes Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II and Radio Golf.

All of the aforementioned works have played on Broadway with the exception of Jitney — which enjoyed Off-Broadway runs at Second Stage Theatre and Union Square Theatre — and Radio Golf, which is currently Broadway-bound. All the Broadway productions received Tony Award nominations for Best Play with Fences taking home the prize. Wilson also garnered the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for that work and The Piano Lesson.

Tickets to Jitney at the Lillian Theatre, 1076 Lillian Way (near Santa Monica and Vine) in Hollywood, CA are available by calling (323) 960-7721.

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