Monday, 14 June 2010

Fences; Denzel Washington and Viola Davies, New York Theatre

Our experience of Broadway in New York also featured Fences, a play by August Wilson. I wrote about this play in an earlier post. But, I mostly wrote about our evening of great food, then running off to the play. In this post I'll write more about the play.

August Wilson wrote Fences in 1983. It debuted on Broadway in 1987, with James Earl Jones and earned a Pulitzer Prize for drama. James Earl Jones also won a Tony Award for Best Actor.

We were really lucky to be in New York during the play's 13 week revival with Denzel Washington. It will soon be closing. It has done quite well and is up for many Tony Awards including Denzel Washington for Best Actor, Viola Davies for Best Actress, the play for Best Revival, and a few others.

Fences, itself, was very good. It is one of August Wilson's 10 play Pitsburgh cycle. It is set in the 1950s, and it covers everything from family relationships to race relations, to the experience of African-Americans as well as other themes.


Denzel Washington plays a man, Troy, who has regrets, who doesn't always know how to show his love, and who really doesn't have a high opinion of himself. The story was full of sadness and frustration, of laughter and tears. The audience responded very vocally to the verbal sparring between Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.Last night at the Tony's, Fences won for best play revival, Denzel Washington won a Tony for his performances. Viola Davis won a Tony for best actress in a play.

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