August Wilson’s acclaimed, Two Trains Running, directed by Ron O.J Parsons, is now playing at the Court Theatre in Hyde Park through June 12, 2022.
Two Trains Running is the story of a Dinner owner (A.C Smith) fighting with the city to get what he feels he deserves as the city tries to close his restaurant in the already desolate black neighborhood in Pittsburg. Only a few regular patrons continue to visit his barely thriving business, which most times never have what’s on the menu.
Rissa (Kierra Bunch), the melancholy waitress, only shows a glimmer of light when the handsome recently released from turned Revolutionary Sterling (Jerod Haynes) is in the building. Numbers runner Wolf (Ronald L. Conner) is the jive-talking town crier. He knows everything that’s going on around the block. Holloway(Alfred H. Wilson) is an elderly patron who is all-knowing and always has a message. However, I understand the messages that Holloway tries to deliver; at times, it was difficult to digest due to the constant use of the N-Word. Hambone’s character (Joseph Primes), the mentally challenged patron, was the most difficult to conceive. The repetitive use of his one line became a bit irritating after a while. I don’t believe anyone would wait around nine years for a Ham.
Not everyone in the neighborhood is down on their luck; the rich undertaker West (Cedric Young) owns most of the community. His goal is to buy the restaurant to add to his collection of properties. For years he’s been trying to purchase the restaurant from Holloway at a price less than it’s worth. Holloway refuses to give up his place because he believes it’s worth more than the City and West intend on paying.
In the end, I can appreciate a victorious finish. Love can heal all wounds, internal and external. Faith can bring about a change, and determination can get you what you want. These are messages I found in the rubble.
I have been a fan of August Wilson for many years and was excited to be able to review this critically acclaimed production. I have to admit; this is one of my lesser favorites. Although there were funny moments, I found myself cringing through most of the dialogue. Perhaps it has to do with the racial climate we are currently facing. I also found the exchange wordy, and I drifted off for most of the first act. But theatre is subjective. If you are an August Wilson fan, I’m sure you would probably enjoy the show. Tickets range from $ 39 – $76. To purchase tickets, call 773-753-4472 or visit www.courttheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Michael Brosilow