Jitney Review



Roar of the Crowd - Los Angeles
By Marni Landes

Taxi drivers must lead really interesting lives. They meet dozens of people each day and drive all over their region. It's amazing that passengers can tell the driver some tiny insignificant street and the driver will know exactly where it is--without using a GPS! I've been in taxi cabs where the driver tells me his entire life story and I learn a lot about him. I've also been in taxi cabs where the driver asks about my life, and he does all the learning. I've been treated to first-class tours of the city by a local expert. And not only that, but one time, my driver took me past his house on the way to the airport. Not exactly the show-and-tell I was looking for.

Plenty of movies have a scene in a taxi. The driver is rushing to the hospital so the woman can have her baby, or he's pursuing the bad guy in a high-speed chase, or the passengers in the backseat are sharing a passionate kiss and destination is immaterial. Whatever the movie's situation, the taxi driver doesn't usually get that much attention.

That all changes in this week's Roar of the Crowd winner, on 1913 reviews. In Jitney, the drivers really are in the front seat. This impressive, emotional play is all about them.

Jitney, at the Lillian Theatre in West Hollywood. In this dramatic play by August Wilson, you'll witness a part of the 20th century black American experience through the eyes of employees at a makeshift taxi company in Pittsburgh. Rita Williams describes the show as an "excellent production! Fabulous comedic and dramatic performances. I haven't had a more emotion-filled evening in a very long time. Everyone MUST see this one." Michele Botz praises the "superb acting!" Susan Bledsoe tells us, "This was really a treat. This play had a lot of emotion and it was felt by the audience. It kept you involved as a lot of wisdom was being given and it also made you laugh. I was very impressed by the scenery." Karin Peavy describes the experience as, "very moving and well performed." Deserie Davenport says, "The cast was awesome! The story was intense and well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my date was very impressed!" Patricia Wilson calls Jitney, "a powerful play with an amazing cast! Loved it!" E.A. Wilkins admires the "excellent performance from all cast members! I'd go see it again. Very enjoyable." Frank Krasevec describes the play as "a very human story with a marvelous cast of skilled actors." Dwight McBride declares it a "first-class performance." Finally, Lonnie Brooks says, "Rarely do you see so many great talents on the same stage, but Jitney was exactly that type of experience. Exceptional acting with a great script. Absolutely powerful!"

Goldstar Events members have rated Jitney 3.5 out of 4.

Marni Landes, Goldstar Events Feedback Manager, read 1913 comments about 384 shows this week submitted by Goldstar members.

Events mentioned this week:

August Wilson's Jitney: The First in Wilson's 10-Play Cycle

Review published on October 25th, 2006