Fences – Theater Review
Fences is one of the ten plays in August Wilson’s sweeping Pittsburgh Cycle, focusing on the 20th century African-American experience. Fences takes place over eight years from 1957 to 1965. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the drama follows Troy Maxson, a former baseball player in the Negro Leagues, now reduced to collecting trash. Troy must deal with his headstrong football-player son, who has a chance to go so much further than he did, and with his wife, who reevaluates their marriage when Troy comes home with the baby he fathered with another woman. Winner of the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Fences is the Pulitzer Prize winning play by August Wilson, who did each of the decades basically of the 20th century, talking about the black experience in Pittsburgh, including King Headley II, Two Trains Running, Joe Turner Has Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Jitney, Radio Golf, plus Gem of the Ocean A dozen plays. This one stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Denzel needs no introduction. Viola was the one who was so terrific in Doubt. And they bring the house down. This is a play that was done originally by Leslie Uggams and James Earl Jones, but Denzel brings a sexuality to it that James Earl, god bless him, just couldn’t bring in the same way. It’s really great theater. You love him in the first half and you hate him in the second half. The whole cast is very good, and it’s a great theatrical experience. Five stars.