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FENCES Featured by the Associated Press

May 7, 2010

 ‘Fences’ stars look to family to find characters

NEW YORK—Family is not a bad place to start when searching for ways to portray the lead characters in “Fences,” August Wilson’s most popular and perhaps most personal play.

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis both looked into their own lives to find bits and pieces of the husband and wife they play in the vivid Broadway revival of Wilson’s drama set in 1950s Pittsburgh. And their introspection looks like it paid off.
The critically acclaimed production has snared 10 Tony Award nominations, including nods for its two stars and its director, Kenny Leon.
This “Fences” is a prime example of Broadway’s fascination—some might say necessary fascination these days—with stars to sell tickets for more serious fare. And Washington does, judging from gangbusters business the show has been doing since opening last month, not to mention the cheers that rock the Cort Theatre when the actor first saunters on stage.
He portrays Troy Maxson, the larger-than-life garbage man whose dashed dreams of baseball glory (in a white world of pro ball) have given him a rigid, embittered sense of responsibility. A responsibility that has a profound effect on his wife, Rose, and particularly his son, Cory.
Washington was first approached by producer Scott Rudin to do a film version of “Fences” but before deciding the actor went back and read the original play, which he had seen in its initial 1987 Broadway run starring James Earl Jones and Mary Alice.
He opted to do the stage version instead.

Read the full article from the ASSOCIATED PRESS. CLICK HERE 

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