Monday, January 15, 2007

Reports: August Wilson's Radio Golf To Swing Into Cort

Reports: August Wilson's Radio Golf To Swing Into Cort

Over the last quarter century, August Wilson emerged as one of our most prolific and prestigious playwrights. Sadly, the acclaimed, audacious articulator of the African American experience died in late 2005, but not before witnessing the premiere of Radio Golf. Its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre concluded his revered epic cycle that stretched all the way back to 1984's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Several reports today indicate that Radio Golf is all but assured a berth at Broadway's Cort Theatre later this year. When confirmed, it will mark the ninth Wilson play to be performed on the Great White Way.

So admired was Wilson that Broadway's Virginia Theatre, built in 1925 as the Guild Theatre, was rechristened the August Wilson Theatre on October 16, 2005 -- just two weeks after he succumbed to cancer (the August Wilson Theatre is now home to the Tony-winning Jersey Boys).

So celebrated was Wilson's writing that each of his eight previous cycle chapters was Tony nominated for Best Play; Fences took the Best Play honors for 1987. He also received five Pulitzer Prize nominations, winning for both Fences and The Piano Lesson (1990). Cumulatively, Wilson's dramas enjoyed 993 regular performances on Broadway and earned a whopping 43 Tony nominations, winning in eight categories.

Currently, the Kenny Leon-helmed Radio Golf is playing Chicago's Goodman Theatre through February 18 as part of its August Wilson Celebration. Leon's production first premiered at Boston's Huntington Theatre last September and will move on to Princeton's McCarter Theatre after the Chicago run.

Since I'll be in the audience for the Goodman run, you can look forward to my review of Wilson's finale in the coming weeks and preview for what is certain to be one of the critics' most anticipated events on Broadway.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.

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