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FENCES Receives Rave Review in the New Yorker



The FINEST REVIVAL of August Wilson’s work yet to be seen on Broadway – a deep, rich, resonant experiences that makes an indisputable case for the play and for Wilson’s enduring endeavor.  I left the theatre full of gratitude.”


May 10, 2010 Issue


If Prebble’s Skilling sees himself as a master of the universe, Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), the illiterate fifty-three-year-old garbage collector in the thrilling revival of August Wilson’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Fences” (well directed by Kenny Leon at the Cort), is on the opposite side of destiny’s wheel. Maxson is one of the African Americans whose heroic survival Wilson set out to Chronicle in his ten-play Century Cycle “left over from history,” in Wilson’s words, “a commodity of flesh and muscle which has lost its value in the market place.”

Maxson is a tall talker. “I know you got some Uncle Remus in your blood,” his friend Bono (the excellent Stephen McKinley Henderson) says. Maxson fills his Pittsburgh back yard with tales of the white man’s oppression (“How come you got all whites driving and the coloreds lifting?”) and of his own sexual exploits (“Legs don’t mean nothing. You don’t do nothing but push them out of the way. But them hips cushion the ride!”). Maxson’s bravado is how he keeps his self-destructiveness at bay and makes space for himself in a world that constantly humiliates him. “Death ain’t nothing but a fastball on the outside corner,” Maxson, a legendary slugger, who learned the game in the penitentiary, where he did fifteen years for murder, says. Now in 1957, on the back porch of his brick house, he fights an epic spiritual battle with racism, with disappointment, with the emotional legacy of his brutal sharecropper father, with loyalty to his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), and with envy at his offspring’s accomplishments.

To read the full review, pick-up a copy of the May 10th issue of the New Yorker – on stands now.

FENCES is currently playing at the Cort Theatre (138 West 48th Street).

Follow FENCES on Twitter: @FencesBroadway

Find FENCES on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FencesBroadway

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