(Photo Credit: Stan Barouh)
by August Wilson
Olney Theatre, June 2014
A Helen Hayes Recommended Production
Under Jamil Jude’s direction, there are performances and design elements to savor
Rollicking, driving and at times as plaintive as a blues song sung against a starless night, Olney’s production of The Piano Lesson by August Wilson plays a melody of feelings you can’t get out of your mind...It’s the first time in Olney’s history they’ve done a Wilson play and director Jamil Jude’s deft touch with Wilson’s story-rich, rhythm-drenched dialogue suggests they’ve been missing out on a grand opportunity...The production is everything you would want in a staging of a Wilson play—atmosphere, fierce camaraderie between the actors, musical speeches and bewitching storytelling...The production is so evenly performed you can see the validity of both Boy Willie and Berniece’s arguments. They play against each other like dueling riffs, each compelling in its own right.
An overall sensationally acted show, Jude’s approach to the work does Wilson’s work a great deal of authentic emotional justice