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August Wilson’s Jitney

1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, 92101

August Wilson is rightly celebrated for his wordsmithing —or maybe word-weaving would be better, or word-spinning. It’s not so much the occasional pronouncements (“Time go along, and then it come around”), some of which verge into greeting-card territory (“I don’t have all the answers; I don’t even have all the questions; but I do know it takes two to find them”). It’s the tumbling and piling and sidewinding, as when a busybody slips and slides around everybody’s insistence that he keep his mouth shut and mind his own business, or the punching and counter-punching, as when a father and son confront each other about the violent act that sundered their relationship. But what makes director Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s revival hum and throb are the voices that deliver those words, and the bodies that house those voices. Even the broken ones have power, and the ones that aren’t broken positively fill the ear. It’s well worth listening to them work Wilson’s words, even if it’s not a perfect play — it loses considerable steam after the first act’s thundering conclusion, and there’s a bit of officina ex machina brought in to set up the story's resolution. But it is a nearly perfect cast, starting with Steven Anthony Jones as Becker, owner of a jitney car service in a part of late-‘70s Pittsburgh that’s slated for urban renewal. (Read: they’re gonna tear down his place of business. On top of that, his drivers are getting into trouble with booze and women, and his son’s just been released after 20 years in prison.) Becker is a cracked pillar of the community; a man who did everything right and suffered everything well in order to build a life for himself and a future for his family. (It’s fascinating to hear black characters who are up against city hall utter what might today be considered conservative talking points, e.g., “Shake off that ‘White folks are against me’ attitude; the opportunity is there to make something of yourself.”) There is still strength in his thick frame and commanding speech, but the years and their sorrows hang about him the way inevitable decay hangs about his jitney station, exquisitely rendered by David Gallo and cleverly lit by Jane Cox. — M.L.

When

Ongoing until Sunday, February 23, 2020

Hours

Sundays, 2pm & 7pm
Tuesdays, 7pm
Wednesdays, 7pm
Thursdays, 8pm
Fridays, 8pm
Saturdays, 2pm & 8pm
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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