Car Service!The first line uttered in August Wilsons’ play, Jitney, currently in revival at the Manhattan Theatre Club, sets the stage for a play that is nothing short of phenomenal. With a brilliant mix of comedic moments overlaying a heartbreaking plotline, the piece displays authentic situations and exposes the choices people make at critical junctures of their lives, the impacts of which are felt for decades.
What makes this play particularly special is the powerful writing. Mr. Wilson has an adept ear for natural speech and the writing captures perfectly each character’s unique voice. Varied and interesting with an acute intelligence, the language is the driving force behind the narrative and the main pillar supporting the circumstances that unfold.
Beautifully cast, this is some of the strongest ensemble acting I’ve seen and it’s awe inspiring to watch and listen to. The production is carefully crafted and the characters richly drawn, allowing each actor a strong and sure foundation from which to give a stellar performance.
Special recognition goes out to Toni-Leslie James for spot-on costuming and skillfully showing how clothing can illuminate and amplify a persona when no words are spoken. Her work recreating the look of 1977 is genius.
Jitney is a moving story with fantastic performances and production design. The entire experience was flawless and the show is a perfect example of the necessity and excitement of live theatre.
See Jitney before it closes on March 12. You won’t be disappointed, only elevated.