August Wilson's Jitney made it's official debut on Broadway last night (Thursday) at the Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. A great ensemble cast has already resulted in standing ovations.
Jitney's scene is set in Pittsburgh, PA in a 1977 dilapidated unlicensed cab station, a place were locals go for cheap fares instead of the expensive regulated taxis.
Television and Broadway star Michael Potts has the audience sighing and laughing as Turnbo, who can't help sticking his nose into everybody's business:
“Turnbo, I see him as the human telegraph, the chronicler of what’s going on. He speaks his mind. That also means being free to express if something really gets him going. He will unleash it.”
Potts' admiration for the late August Wilson's genius is quite evident:
“Words like heroic, master of story telling and language, and a hero of African American culture and a lover of his people. I don’t think anyone has ever chronicled the life in a very specific, reverent and funny and critical way. He’s a giant. Literary personal giant and a hero as a human being.”
Potts, who thrilled audiences in The Book of Mormon, is enjoying his latest Broadway role:
“I try as an actor to hue to what the writer (describes). When you have a writer like August Wilson, I don’t have to think of anything else outside of the world he created. It is so incredibly specific. The characters are so vividly written as individuals.”
Listen above to Doug Doyle's interview with Michael Potts.