August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” directed by Phylicia Rashad, opens Wednesday, May 8 at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. The lyrically rich and powerful play continues through June 9, 2013. (Preview performances began April 24.)
“Joe Turner” is set in 1911 in a Pittsburgh boarding house, where tenants come and go, forming a community that is altered time and time again. The daily routine of meals, conversation, gossip, arrivals and departures, and the changes that occur within this fluid grouping of people, is set against a great tide of Americans of African descent, only 50 years out of bondage, who are moving toward the industrial cities of the North in search of economic opportunity, lost family members and new beginnings.
The cast of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” features Skye Barrett, Gabriel Brown, Keith David, January LaVoy, Vivian Nixon, Nathaniel James Potvin, Raynor Scheine, Erica Tazel, John Douglas Thompson, Glynn Turman and Lillias White. Scenic design is by John Iacovelli, costume design is by Karen Perry, lighting design is by Allen Lee Hughes, sound design is by Cricket S. Myers and wig and hair design is by Carol F. Doran. This production features original music by Kathryn Bostic, casting by Joanne DeNaut and the production stage manager is David Blackwell.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times said of the play, “‘Joe Turner’ seamlessly blends the ordinary with the extraordinary. . . This play disarms its audiences with folksy chitchat and homespun comedy before it dawns on them that what they’re watching — in its subliminal sweep and symmetry — is close to epic poetry.”
CTG maintained a long relationship with August Wilson, presenting seven of his plays. In addition to “Jitney,” “King Hedley II” (Tony Award nomination for Best Play), “Gem of the Ocean” and “Radio Golf” at the Mark Taper Forum, CTG presented the Tony Award-nominated “Seven Guitars” at the Ahmanson Theatre and “Two Trains Running” and “The Piano Lesson” (1990 Pulitzer Prize) at the Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood.
Tickets for “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” are available by calling (213) 628-2772, visiting online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $20 - $70 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.