Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #22

Contents

A GLIMPSE OF GREATNESS – AUGUST WILSON

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT

THE CINDERELLA STORY STILL CHARMS

“THE ROCK” TURNS TO THE GRIDIRON

SPECIAL ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM

SAVE THE DATE – COLOR OF FILM FUNDRAISER

GROWING UP ON STAGE

“IDLEWILD” SAUNTERS ONTO SCREENS

ONE LOVE DVD’s ON SALE

UPCOMING EVENTS


A GLIMPSE OF GREATNESS – AUGUST WILSON

by Kay Bourne

(pictured: (left) Michael Maso, Huntington Theatre’s Managing Director and (right) Kenny Leon, RADIO GOLF Director)

7a7526189ea7b38c9365257845de9943.124.93 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #22Tour buses regularly pass by the Huntington Theatre , the guide on microphone pointing out the pretty façade of a playhouse built in 1925 as American’s first civic theater.

On one such morning, playwright August Wilson was standing on the sidewalk beneath the marquee enjoying a cigarette as the trolley passed by. The conductor pointed out the theater, noting on mic that the play currently at the Huntington was by August Wilson. The guide suddenly realized that Wilson himself was standing there on the sidewalk. “And there’s Mr. Wilson!” the guide excitedly informed the tourists.

“What did you do?” Huntington’s Michael Maso asked Wilson when the playwright told him what had just occurred. “I waved,” said Wilson, always an ordinary Joe.

Mr. Maso, the managing director of the Huntington since 1982, was dipping into his trove of memories of Wilson, who passed away almost a year ago, October 3, 2005.

At a coffee hour to introduce the cast and crew of August Wilson’s “Radio Golf,” Kenny Leon also reminisced about his friendship with Mr. Wilson. Over the years the Huntington has staged seven of Wilson’s plays as he tinkered with them before they got to Broadway.

The final drama in August Wilson’s ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle, “Radio Golf,” completes his extraordinary contribution to the American theater and to black letters. Set in each and every decade of the 20th century, these profound plays bring the African American experience out from the fringes and far from the weirdness of racist stereotypes and put the truth firmly and forever center stage of the American theater.

“Radio Golf” revisits Aunt Esther’s house (now slated for demolition), the setting of “Gem of the Ocean.” Directed by Leon, who also was at the helm for “Gem,” “RADIO GOLF” opens September 8 at the Huntington Theatre, where it will be performed until October 15, only.

It was two years ago, September 13, that August Wilson spoke at Roxbury Community College; a memorable night, where he gave a talk that ultimately became his one-man show (and acting debut) as Wilson enacted many of the characters from his plays, “How I Learned What I Learned.”

The talk so impressed one young black man that he rushed to the microphone during the Q & A to say that although he’d never heard of Mr. Wilson before this night, now he was thirsting to see his plays. Mr. Wilson’s humility was never more evident. Not at all offended by someone not knowing who he was, he was obviously thrilled at the young man’s embrace of the voices he’d heard.

Also, a tribute to August Wilson, sponsored by the Huntington with RCC is slated for this Monday, September 11, again at RCC in the media center at 1234 Columbus Ave, on the corner of Tremont Street, across from the Reggie Lewis athletic center. The event hosted by Karen Holmes-Ward of WCVB-TV, channel 5, will feature Constanza Romero (August Wilson’s widow), Kenny Leon, and special guests. The event celebrates the life and language of the great playwright.

Purchase RADIO GOLF tickets here


GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT

story and photo credit: Kay Bourne

(pictured: Akiba Abaka)

a717067fee930ad46f7837cbfd477eb1.124.83 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #22Is racism hard wired? Robert Johnson, Jr.’s play “Patience of Nantucket” set in the early 1800′s looks at a miscarriage of justice in the distant past. Yet, Patience’s trials may cause a shudder of recognition in today’s audience.

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