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FENCES BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: April 26, 2010
Synopsis: Troy Maxson is a Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues finally admitted black players. As he faces off against the racial barrier at work and his own disappointments, Troy also grapples with his son, Cory, over the teenager’s hope for a football scholarship and with his wife, Rose, who confronts Troy over a child he has fathered with another woman.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"When Denzel Washington talks about challenging death to a wrestling match, you suddenly sense that everything’s going to be all right. Not for Troy Maxson, the character portrayed by Mr. Washington in the vibrantly acted Broadway revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” which opened on Monday night at the Cort Theater; Troy might as well have “Warning: Explosives” tattooed across his forehead, with “Breakable” stamped on his back."
"From Shakespeare (think all those "Henry" history plays) to Arthur Miller (consider "All My Sons" and "Death of a Salesman"), the subject has been potent dramatic fodder. And in "Fences," August Wilson made his own unmistakable, powerful contribution to the genre in what is perhaps his most personal play."
"Denzel Washington is the draw for this revival of August Wilson's "Fences." But it's the play itself that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats: This is pure, unabashed melodrama -- the kind where the line "Got something to tell you" never introduces good news."
"No, you don't need to frontload the production with a star to mount a successful revival of "Fences." August Wilson's 1987 drama, the Pulitzer Prize-winning centerpiece of his 10-play Century Cycle about the African-American experience, is a masterpiece, and this meticulously mounted production does it proud. That said, it definitely does not hurt to have a high-wattage superstar like Denzel Washington toplining the show in the role originally defined by James Earl Jones. Although quirkily cast as a gruff, middle-aged sanitation worker, Washington turns in a heartfelt performance as one of the true tragic heroes of modern American theater. "
"August Wilson's poetry has seldom sounded as prosaic as it does in the new revival of Fences (* * * out of four).That's not entirely a criticism of this production, which opened Monday at the Cort Theatre and marks Denzel Washington's return to Broadway since a stint as Brutus inJulius Caesar in 2005."
"Six years ago, gifted director Kenny Leon delivered a fine production of "A Raisin in the Sun" to Broadway, marred only by the stage inexperience of its bankable star, Sean Combs. Back with another classic chronicling the African-American experience, and this time with the right star in place, Leon knocks it out of the park with this beautifully calibrated realization of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize–winning "Fences." Denzel Washington is magnificent in the role indelibly created by James Earl Jones, and the astonishing Viola Davis matches him every step of the way. It's a deeply moving, hugely satisfying evening of theater."
"Troy Maxson, the character played by Denzel Washington in the must-see revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” is greeted by foot-stamping cheers from the audience in the Cort Theater, surely the most ecstatic whoops of delight ever for a Pittsburgh garbage collector. There was a time, though, when Troy was himself a star."
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