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Opening Night

Jitney Prepares for a Historic Broadway Opening

Ruben Santiago-Hudson rounds out August Wilson's repertoire.

Brandon J. Dirden and John Douglas Thompson lead the cast of August Wilson's Jitney at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
(© Joan Marcus)

August Wilson's August Wilson's Jitney makes its official Broadway debut tonight at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre as part of Manhattan Theatre Club's 2016-17 season. Directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney is the only drama of Wilson's American Century Cycle that has never been seen on Broadway. Performances began December 28.

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

The play's ensemble features Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC's Greene Space American Century Cycle recording) as Shealy, Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf) as Fielding, Brandon Dirden (All the Way) as Booster, André Holland (Joe Turner's Come and Gone) as Youngblood, Carra Patterson (Wit) as Rena, Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon) as Turnbo, Keith Randolph Smith (American Psycho) as Doub, Ray Anthony Thomas (The Crucible) as Philmore, and John Douglas Thompson (A Time to Kill) as Becker.

The creative team for Jitney includes David Gallo (scenic design), Toni-Leslie James (costume design), Jane Cox (lighting design), Darron L. West (sound design), Bill Sims Jr. (original music), and Thomas Schall (fight director).

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