Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Joe Turner's Come And Gone

photo: T. Charles Erickson

August Wilson's most lyrical drama of the ten in his "Century Cycle" has been given an enthralling, first-rate revival (by Lincoln Center Theatre) that is at once intimate and operatic. The play, set in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911, captures a time of transience in African-American history during which lives were routinely uprooted by choice or by force. The production (directed by Bartlett Sher) emphasizes the overarching religious themes in the play but not at the expense of detailing Wilson's finely drawn characters. here brought to life by a near-flawless ensemble who deliver Wilson's heightened oft-poetic language with conversational ease. Theatergoers who didn't venture to the superb Wilson season at Signature a couple of years ago and who know the playwright only from the last few Broadway productions of his plays are especially urged to see this top-notch production of what is arguably his finest, most meticulously crafted play.

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