August Wilson is HOT!!! Fences is scorching the box office, tongues wagging with rave reviews for its stars Emmy/Golden Globe winner Viola Davis and 2- time Oscar winner Denzel Washington. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that Wilson’s work is having a renaissance of sorts.
The latest of his pieces to get some shine is JITNEY, currently in previews at The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City. Jitney. is the first script in August Wilson’s trailblazing American Century Cycle about the 20th-century African-American experience. It follows a group of men who operate an unlicensed car service in Pittsburgh’s Hill District during the 1970s. The MTC production is helmed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, star Andre’ Holland from the award-winning film “Moonlight” and one of its producers is Oscar/Grammy winner John Legend.
Recently, I reached out to another one of the producers…Ron Simons to chat about Hudson, August Wilson and Jitney. Ron Simons is the Founder and CEO of SimonSays Entertainment. A three-time Tony Award-winning producer and actor, his company, SimonSays Entertainment strategically plans and develops theatre and film projects including the critically acclaimed films Night Catches Us, Gun Hill Road, Blue Caprice and Mother of George (all premiered at Sundance).
His first documentary 25 to Life premiered at the American Black Film Festival where it won Best Documentary. He also produced the Broadway productions of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award for Best Musical), Porgy & Bess (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk, New Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play), A Streetcar Named Desire (AEA’s Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award). Off-Broadway projects include Bedlam’s St. Joan and Bedlam’s Hamlet Awards (Off Broadway Alliance Award – Best Revival (for Saint Joan). He also produced the Chicago production of 5 Lesbians Eating Quiche which received the FringeNYC Outstanding Production Award. Ron is also a member of The Broadway League Diversity Committee.
Jitney is in previews, opens January 19th and runs through March 12th at The Manhattan Theatre Club. To purchase tickets…CLICK HERE. To find out more about Ron Simons, you can go to www.simonsaysentertainment.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook at SimonSaysEntertainment.
Take a listen to our chat and grab a ticket while you can.