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August Wilson's Jitney begins previews on B'way tonight

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Manhattan Theatre Club presents the first-ever Broadway production of Jitney, written by two-time Pulizer Prize winner August Wilson and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, which begins previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre tonight. An official opening is set for 19 January 2017, with a limited engagement through to 12 March 2017. It is the only play of Wilson's "The American Century Cycle" yet to be seen on Broadway until now.

Synopsis: "Set in the early 1970s, the piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss' son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last."

The cast of Jitney includes (in alphabetical order) Harvy Blanks (Shealy), Anthony Chisholm (Fielding), Brandon Dirden (Booster), André Holland (Youngblood), Carra Patterson (Rena), Michael Potts (Turnbo), Keith Randolph Smith (Doub), Ray Anthony Thomas (Philmore) and John Douglas Thompson (Becker).

The creative team behind Jitney features scenic design by David Gallo, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Darron L West, original music by Bill Sims, Jr. and fight direction by Thomas Schall.

The next production to be staged at Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway venue will be Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes from 29 March to 18 June 2017, which will feature Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon alternating the roles of Regina and Birdie at each performance. This will be followed by the Broadway premiere of Prince of Broadway, celebrating the career of 21-time Tony Award-winning director and producer Hal Prince. The production, which will play a limited engagement from 3 August 2017, will be directed by Mr. Prince himself, with co-direction and choreography by Susan Stroman.

- by Tom Millward

Anthony ChisholmAndré Holland

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