Jitney is a play in two acts by August Wilson. The eighth in his “Pittsburgh Cycle“, this play is set in a worn-down gypsy cab station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in early autumn 1977.
Regular cabs will not travel to the Pittsburgh Hill District of the 1970s, and so the residents turn to each other. Jitney dramatizes the lives of men hustling to make a living as jitneys—unofficial, unlicensed taxi cab drivers. When the boss Becker’s son returns from prison, violence threatens to erupt. What makes this play remarkable is not the plot; Jitney is Wilson at his most real—the words these men use and the stories they tell form a true slice of life.
Grammy- and Oscar-winning recording artist John Legend serves as a producer on the show. “I love August Wilson I think he’s an iconic American playwright,” he said (1:50). “I grew up in the Midwest and my family, a lot of the characters I see in August Wilson plays remind me of people in my family. My dad was a factory worker, my grandfather drove a concrete truck, and my uncle was a mailman. So I knew a lot of those characters and the way they talk to each other, I recognize all of that. So I’ve always thought of him as an important playwright that tells some different stories that may not always be seen.”
–Running Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes, with one intermission—
|Directed by :||Ruben Santiago-Hudson|
|Becker:||John Douglas Thompson|
|Philmore:||Ray Anthony Thomas|
|Doub:||Keith Randolph Smith|
|Young Blood:||Andre Holland|
|Booster:||Brandon J. Dirden|
By August Wilson
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
261 West 47th Street
Through March 12