Best Theatrical Ensemble - 2012
'Jitney' at South Coast Repertory
Any play featuring an actor as recognizable as Charlie Robinson (who played court clerk Mac on the long-running TV show Night Court) already has a strong lineup. Robinson's proud, patriarchal Becker was the central character in August Wilson's poignant, gripping play Jitney, set in an independent cab station in Pittsburgh in 1977. But the seven actors surrounding him more than stood their ground. Effortlessly directed by Ron OJ Parson, each performer captured what is perhaps the most important aspect in staging a Wilson play: the rich sound of his dialogue, which reveals character as much as the actual words. Whether verbally assaulting one another or bonding over their uncertain futures, this was ensemble work at its most rhythmic.