Sunday, March 14, 2004

Today I went to see August Wilson's play King Hedley II at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre http://www.lorrainehansberrytheatre.com/ I have to admit - I've seen a few of Wilson's plays. Fences, Ma Rainey Black Bottom, The Piano Player and Jitney. I really haven't been a big fan of his works. I've always felt his works were for another audience. And his portrayal of Black women is weak (underdeveloped - may be a better word) His voice is very male to me.

I'm not sure if it's age or theatre experience but I enjoyed King Hedley II. I understand the decade covered in this play 1980's -- the wealth and poverty. The change in the culture - the strong move to materialism the Reagan Years.

But the play is basically a Greek tragedy - the ending was a little too ...greekie for me. But I enjoyed his writing - with it's elements of humor and pain. The performances were strong. However, I fantasized about seeing the play in a facility with better acoustics and slightly stronger actors.

One comment - I purchased the cheapest ticket I could get - so this may have affected my acoustics experience. I purchased half price tickets at TIX Bay Area http://www.theatrebayarea.org/tix/tix.shtml It's a great service use it.! . But the seat I purchased was near the top of the theatre and the leg room was very narrow. I have theatre knee - and boy did it ache. But I survived......my advice is to purchase the premium half price tickets if you can't stand the pain.

For me - I going to read a few greek tragedies since the structure is loved by so many of our playwrites. Guess it's time to explore more of Wilson's work - time for a second look.


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