All posts tagged: 10-play cycle

August Wilson’s Unlikely Odyssey – The Atlantic

August Wilson’s Unlikely Odyssey – The Atlantic

When August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson opened at the Huntington Theatre in Boston in 1988, my mother, her friend Renée, and I sat in the audience, captivated by the struggles of a brother and sister at odds about the fate of a family heirloom, a piano on which their enslaved ancestor had made African carvings. The vernacular dialogue, the ghosts, and the humor—as a teenager a couple of years earlier, I’d been stunned by a similar mix in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the same theater (and had spotted Wilson pacing in the lobby). Still, the new play felt unlike anything we’d ever seen. After the performance, we headed to Slade’s, a historic restaurant and bar (once owned by the Celtics legend Bill Russell) in the predominantly Black enclave of Roxbury. The lights were low and the music was loud, and I might not have noticed the cast members in the crowd if they hadn’t just held me in thrall for three hours. I didn’t see Wilson at Slade’s that night, but if he …