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True Colors' Jitney taxis towards take-off

The late playwright August Wilson inaugurated his 20th century theatrical decalogue with Jitney

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An unsung gift of playwright August Wilson was his ability to take seemingly any setting, from 1920s recording studio to 1990s campaign headquarters, and make it into the equivalent of the corner barber shop. Wilson’s 10-play “Century Cycle” mostly occurs in the yards and parlors of unassuming Pittsburgh homes, but the locales all become places for news, gossip and the occasional hostile confrontation. It’s fun to imagine hanging out in an August Wilson play -- at least for the first act, before the inevitable tragic turns.

The late playwright inaugurated his 20th century theatrical decalogue with Jitney, which turns a dilapidated gypsy cab station into one of those Wilsonian clubhouses. True Colors Theatre Company produces Jitney on the Alliance Theatre main stage through June 27, having presented the play at the Southwest Arts Center in May. Directed by Derrick Sanders, the production can’t conceal some of Jitney’s flaws as an early work, but expertly gives voice to the play’s rough music.

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