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Mark Taper Forum presents August Wilson's "Radio Golf"

By Paula Jessop

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Mark Taper Forum
Presents
August Wilson's "Radio Golf"
West Coast Premiere
Directed by Kenny Leon

    

Two-time Pulitzer prize-winner August Wilson has chronicled the African American experience decade by decade in his 10-cycle play. Starting in 1904 with Gem of the Ocean and ending in 1997 with "Radio Golf", Wilson has neatly tied together the journey of African American life.

    

Anthony Chisholm and Rocky Carroll

Director Kenny Leon artfully brings to life the final play of Wilson's epic ten play 20th century cycle. "Radio Golf" opens in a fairly dilapidated construction office set in the Pittsburgh Hill District.  It centers around the character of an idealist named Harmond Wilks (Played sleekly by Rocky Caroll) who is running for town Mayor and at the same time working a on multi million dollar development project.

    

James A. Williams, Anthony Chisholm and Rocky Carroll

The development project is in the hill district a rundown area of Pittsburgh where Wilks's family originated. His wife Mame (Played sophisticatedly by Denise Burse) who is both elegant and shrewd is handling the PR on his Mayoral campaign. His good friend Roosevelt Hicks (Played ambitiously by James A. Williams) is his business partner in the development deal. Everything has always run according to plan in Wilks life. All he has had to do is just follow that plan. A running theme in his life, with first his father and now his wife and partner pushing him to keep sticking to it. 

    

Rocky Carroll and John Earl Jelks

It has been easy for Wilks to stay on track until the day when a house located on his project site, earmarked for demolition, is suddenly painted by a stranger who claims ownership. This is the moment that morally things go from black and white to shades of gray for Wilks. He encounters an old school buddy Sterling Johnson (Played passionately by John Earl Jenks) who challenges his ideas of right and wrong. And an old drifter Elder Joseph Barlow (Played zealously by Anthony Chisholm) who endears himself and causes Wilks to look into his heart. The story goes onto explore the many sides of a man, his choices in the world, what truly is right, the importance of tradition, American values and the role of family.

    

Rocky Carroll and Denise Burse


The play had moments where it would begin to drag down in exposition but would be redeemed by elements of humor thrown in. Director Leon proves intuitive in making the lengthy 2 hours and 25 minutes of this piece roll quickly by. The performances were outstanding with an equality of skill and talent from each cast member.


The sets designed by David Gallo were exquisitely detailed from the layers of dirt accumulated of the years on the windows to the detail work and paint peeling from the tin ceilings. Costumes by Susan Hilferty and lighting by Donald Holder deftly supported the chasm of the have and have-nots idealized in this play.

    

James A. Williams, Denise Burse, Rocky Carroll, John Earl Jelks, Anthony Chisholm


I highly recommend this last production in the 2004-2005 Taper Season.
 
Performance Calendar:
July 31 to
September 18, 2005

General Performance Times:
Tues to Fri at 8pm
Wed Sep 14 at 2:30PM
Sat at 2:30pm & 8pm
Sun at 2:30pm & 7:30pm
No 7:30 performance on Sunday September 18.

Single Ticket Prices:
Previews: $30/$35
Weekdays & Sun eves: $42/$34
Fri & Sat eves, Sat & Sun mats:
$52/42
Public Rush $12 cash only - purchased 2 hours before curtain- limit 2 - section B only
Seniors half price with Medi-care card on day of performance - Cash only  -
1 ticket per ID. Not available on Saturday evenings.


Tickets:
Box Office 213-628-2772
Purchase Online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org
Group Sales 213-972-7231
Deaf community: Information and charge TDD 213-680-4017

Mark Taper Forum
at the Music Center
135 North Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.CenterTheatreGroup.org

 

Published on Dec 31, 1969

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