Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011

Cabs That Go Where Most Cabs Will Not

Andree Lee Ellis presents August Wilson�s JITNEY

By Russ Bickerstaff
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The cast of Andre Lee Ellis' production of JITNEY

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It's an interesting end of American history that sounds romantic enough that it really should've been a major motion picture. In Pittsburgh in the '70's, there was an area of town that was so dangerous and infested with crime that no officially licensed cabbie would want to work there. And so any enterprising unlicensed cabbies who wanted to work the area could make some decent money moving people from point A to point b within the area. Now--put this premise in a dark future and it sounds like a big-budget summer action film or a video game. Put this in Pittsburgh's Hill District in the 1970's and its Jitney--a two-act play that serves as the eighth in August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle. The son of the boss of an operation gets out of prison and violence threatens to erupt. It isn't a play with a sophisticated plot . . . THIS is a play about stories that had been drawn directly from the streets of Pittsburgh in the '70's.

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The play which debuted in 1982 makes an appearance next month at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts courtesy of Andree Lee Ellis and Company. Here's Ellis quoted from the press release: "'JITNEY' is a huge production that requires very precise technical execution and therefore we wanted to present it in an arena that could accommodate, and also make it available to a more general and diverse audience, "

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Andree Lee Ellis' Jitney runs January 26th February 5th at Marcus Center's Vogel Hall. For ticket reservations, call 414-273-7206.

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