August Wilson's Jitney made it's official debut on Broadway last night (Thursday) at the Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. A great ensemble cast has already resulted in standing ovations.
Jitney's scene is set in Pittsburgh, PA in a 1977 dilapidated unlicensed cab station, a place were locals go for cheap fares instead of the expensive regulated taxis. That's also where Shealy, portrayed by veteran actor Harvy Blanks, runs his numbers game.
Blanks who lights up the stage with his acting and wardrobe:
"Those polyester suits, my dad had a green one just like I wear (on stage)."
Blanks has starred in all ten plays that make up the American Century Cycle by the late, Pittsburgh native, August Wilson. Blanks says the movie Fences with Denzel Washington and Jitney's Broadway debut show:
"Just how brilliant he (Wilson) is. When you get an author, writer or playwright like he is be who writes about the uniqueness in the black experience, but to be able to have the ability to not be selfish with that writing, but to have it come across to other cultures the same way, it takes a certain richness."
Blanks, a Chicago native, understands the impact of his part of the August Wilson legacy:
"When you are doing it, you are just part of history."
Blanks praises director Ruben Santiago-Hudson's care and passion towards this production.
Hear the entire interview above.