Saturday, December 30, 2006

Two Trains Running

The Signature Theatre Company continues its season-long examination of the late August Wilson with a near-perfect revival of Two Trains Running, his play about eminent domain and racial issues set in 1960s Pittsburgh. We view the world through a claustrophobic diner in the African American Hill District, owned and operated by Memphis (the phenomenal Frankie Faison) and the extraordinary characters who populate it. Director Lou Bellamy, a longtime Wilson collaborator, beautifully paces the action (which, at three and a quarter hours, never drags) and drama, and the fine cast expertly deliver Wilson's trademark poetics. Particularly excellent is January LaVoy as the troubled and tortured waitress Risa. After two triumphs back to back, my appetite is wetted for King Hedley II.

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