Jujamcyn Theaters president Rocco Landesman — the man who brought August Wilson’s most recent play “Gem of the Ocean” to Broadway and will rename the Virginia Theater with the late playwright's name on Oct. 16 — "will produce a Broadway production of ‘Radio Golf,’ the 10th and final play in Wilson's cycle, next season," according to a statement.
“Radio Golf” debuted at Yale Repertory Theatre and has also played at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum. The work will also be staged by Seattle Repertory Theatre and Baltimore's Centerstage with plans for Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and a possible Boston run, being discussed.
With “Radio Golf,” Wilson completed his 10-play cycle which chronicles the African American experience during each decade of the 20th century. The 1990s-set play involves real estate developers who look to tear down the home of recurring Wilson character Aunt Esther.
The epic cycle (in order of decade which the drama is set) includes “Gem of the Ocean,” “Joe Turner's Come and Gone,” “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Seven Guitars,” “Fences,” “Two Trains Running,” “Jitney,” “King Hedley II” and “Radio Golf.”
All 10 of the plays have enjoyed Broadway runs, with the exception of “Jitney” and “Radio Golf.” “Jitney” scored an Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theatre then transferred to a commercial run at the Union Square Theatre. All the Broadway productions received Tony Award nominations for Best Play with Fences taking home the prize. Wilson also garnered the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for that work and The Piano Lesson.
*Meanwhile, Phylicia Rashad has reprised her role as Aunt Esther in The McCarter Theatre's staging of “Gem of the Ocean” in New Jersey.
The actress received a Tony nomination for her work in the production, which played Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre Nov. 23, 2004-Feb. 6, 2005. In the McCarter engagement, Rashad stars opposite John Amos, who plays Solly Two Kings.
“Gem of the Ocean” will run at the McCarter through Oct. 30. The production marks the directorial debut of Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago Hudson.
The cast also includes Chuck Patterson (Eli), Russell Hornsby (Citizen Barlow), Roslyn Ruff (Black Mary), Raynor Scheine (Rutherford Selig) and Keith Randolph Smith (Caesar).
The production plays Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. with matinees on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.. Tickets, priced $25-$53, are available by calling (609) 258-2787 or by visiting www.mccarter.org
. The McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ.