Seat Filler: ’s Guide to Theater
BY Brandon Voss
May 04 2010 2:00 PM ET
Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, Fences, a 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning part of August Wilson’s decade-by-decade cycle chronicling the 20th century African-American experience, centers on Troy Maxson, a hot-tempered trash collector and former Negro Leagues baseball player who tests his marriage when he fathers a daughter with another woman who dies in childbirth. It’s neither a comedy nor a soapy melodrama, but try telling that to audiences at the Cort Theater, where Broadway’s first Fences revival runs through July 11. Blame Kenny Leon’s broad direction or Tyler Perry’s cultural influence, but just don’t fault explosive star Denzel Washington — who confidently fills the shoes of Broadway’s original Troy, James Earl Jones — or Doubt’s devastating Viola Davis, who once again proves she’s queen of the snot-nosed sob as Troy’s suffering wife.
Though I still couldn’t care less about the controversial 2001 collapse of Enron, a Texas-based energy company, I do have a better understanding of the facts and figures after seeing Enron, Lucy Prebble’s hit West End play with music now at the Broadhurst Theatre. It’s serious business for sure, but Prebble employs a lot of funny business — including an awkward bromance between CEO Jeffrey Skilling and CFO Andy Fastow — to make her points about corporate greed and corruption. Dumbing down the complicated details, her ham-fisted metaphors sometimes come to life, like dinosaur-headed creatures embodying debt-eating substructures, but the scenes most deeply steeped in realism prove most effective. Maybe Prebble should’ve sheathed silly visuals like light sabers and taken a more straightforward Frost/Nixon approach to the history.
- An Exodus From the 'Ex-Gay' Movement?
- Op-ed: How My Mom Found Out About My Boyfriend
- Advocate.com | Gay News | The Advocate | The World's Leading Source for LGBT News and Entertainment
- Filipino Archbishop Says Gay Men and Lesbians Can Marry — Each Other
- PHOTOS: Pride From France to Italy to Greece
- Op-ed: How Animated Shows Like Futurama Can Unite Us All
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Commentary Op-ed: How My Mom Found Out About My Boyfriend 1 hour 31 min ago
- Religion An Exodus From the 'Ex-Gay' Movement? 12:50 AM
- Entertainment News A Moment For James Gandolfini June 19 2013 11:38 PM
- Entertainment News Muscle Worship: Meet the Men of L.A.'s New Gay Strip Club June 19 2013 9:45 PM
- Religion Filipino Archbishop Says Gay Men and Lesbians Can Marry — Each Other June 19 2013 7:56 PM
- Travel Drag Racing in Jerusalem June 19 2013 7:20 PM
- Crime Police Seek Suspects Who Vandalized Chick-fil-A With Antigay Slurs June 19 2013 7:18 PM