Friday, April 23, 2010
August Wilson’s work graces the stages of Broadway once again with Fences! One of my favorites of Wilson’s work. I was especially ecstatic to see the revival, starring Denzel Washington & Viola Davis. Both are actors I admire & respect. The theater monster is a completely different from the Hollywood machine. I wanted to see the acting chops of these artist live! They have moved me cinematically, but I wanted to see if they could do the same on stage. In theater you only get ONE TAKE, while many eyes are on you. If they successfully did so, then I could stamp them on the “ACTING HALL OF FAME” in Celi’s Book.
I first became familiar with Fences in HighSchool when we read the play.Back then I didn’t really appreciate the words I read in the play. It wasn’t until college that I became VERY familiar with Wilson’s work. While matriculating at Norfolk State University Dr.Murray loved to do his work. We did Fences, Radio Golf, Joe Turner’s Come & Gone, and this season they just did Gem of the Ocean. He hopes to complete all 10 of Wilson’s work before he retires. Wilson gives his characters really long monologues, and in Fences, Troy carries the show. Denzel had his work cut out for him with memorization. In opinion I feel Denzel did a remarkable job of keeping up the pace. His comedic timing was great! I really liked his chemistry with best friend Bono; played by Stephen McKinley Henderson. The most important line in the play is stated by “Bono”. “Some people build Fences to keep people out and other people build Fences to keep people in.” Powerful line that shows the dynamic between Troy(Denzel) & Rose(Viola). Troy was trying to keep people out. Stubborn and full of pride. Rose was trying to keep people in.She wanted to keep her family together.
This story about an African-American family in the 1950’s continues to captivate audiences even in 2010. Rose’s pain & struggle in her powerful monologue near the end of the play resonated with me. I felt her pain. Seeing my mother in her. Viola Davis brought forth that pain and made it real for the audience. She dug deep…Ms.Davis is a BEAST! Her performance was absolutely Amazing! By the end of the play I was baling in tears. Taking me back to my father’s funeral and connecting with the pain that Troy left with his family after his passing.
My colleagues Darnelle Cadet , Micheal Alcide & myself stayed after the show outside with the rest of the crowd to try to get a glimpse of Denzel & the rest of the cast! It was absolutely pandemonium when Denzel came out. They had a car waiting with police officers around it. Top security for him.
I was able to get Chris Chalk’s autograph who plays Corey and Viola Davis! I was so excited to have met Viola! I think she is an amazing actress and really respect the work she puts in. She looked exhausted after the show. I can only imagine how draining 8 shows a week can be.
Fences was definitely a great night of Broadway! A million thanks to Darnell, my good friend who got me a ticket! I owe you girl! Cast mates back in 2005 and we’ve been strong since!
Also many thanks to Mike for holding my hand while I was being a big baby, crying during the show! From Robin Hood 05, we shall be friends for life! Much love to both of you!