Denzel Washington in Fences

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, August Wilson’s Fences earned rave reviews and prizes galore when it first emerged on the theater scene in 1987. Now, in its first Broadway revival, it is once again reveling in critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times, among many others.

Troy Maxon (Academy Award winner Denzel Washington) and Rose Maxon (Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominee Viola Davis) are the main characters in this magnificently-crafted play that delves into the ways that race relations and the evolution of African-American identities profoundly affect a married couple living in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. A former baseball player whose dreams of stardom have been crushed, Troy Maxon is “a family man with a roving eye and a solid breadwinner…[he] is twisted by fiercely contradictory impulses – of love and resentment, gentle judiciousness and brutal irrationality, responsibility and a lust for careless freedom” (NYT). Rose Maxon, on the other hand, is quieter, more mature, resigned in a way that Troy is not, but she is not any less deep than her husband. Washington and Davis’ performances are powerful and chilling, particularly as Rose learns that Troy cheated on her and had a child with another woman.

Fences is poetic, vivid, complex, and thought-provoking. Both Washington and Davis are rumored to be nominated for Tony awards this summer for their extraordinary performances.

Fences is playing at the Cort Theatre in midtown until July 11, 2010. The Class of 2010 and guests qualify for discounted tickets.

*****

Anjali Dixit, Mailman School of Public Health ‘11

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