Thursday, February 10, 2011

August Wilson's Piano Lesson at the Yale New Haven Rep

Hello all,

I know it has been a while since my last entry and I'm long over do. My motivation to write is in a down period and coming down with a bacterial sinus infection hasn't helped. I'm sluggish, tired, and just want to stay in bed, but rather than cave in to this cold, I'm going to tell you about the production of August Wilson's Piano Lesson at the Yale Repertory Theatre,

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of checking out Piano Lesson with my mom, Anthony, a co-worker of my mom, and Halima, a friend and fellow theatre enthusiast. I was a little nervous that the weather wasn't going to cooperate, but we ended up with mostly rain, a nice change from our snowy norm. I picked Tandoor restaurant,, located at 1226 Chapel St, New Haven, Connecticut for our lunch. It's my mom's favorite Indian restaurant in New Haven. Not only is their food fabulous, but I like the fact that the restaurant looks like an old-school diner from the 1950's.

I wasn't sure what to expect from Piano Lesson, I've seen a couple of August Wilson's other plays and have enjoyed them, but when I heard the play was three and a half hours with an intermission, I had some doubts. It's hard to sit through a two and a half-hour movie at times, and I wasn't sure if the cast would hold my attention for that amount of time. I was wrong, so wrong. Kudos go out the cast of talented actors under the direction of Liesl Tommy. The cast did a superb job and although the play was three plus hours, it didn't feel like it. The characters moved me and their story moved me. I was locked into their world and their struggles and enjoyed every minute of it.

This Pulitzer Prize winning drama premiered at Yale Rep 24 years ago in 1987. It takes place in the city of Pittsburgh, 1936. When you walk into the theatre you will see a beautifully carved piano in the home of Bernice Charles. This piano, it's history, it's importance, and it's value is at the heart of the story. Bernice plans to pass this family heirloom down to her daughter, but Boy Willie, Bernice's brother has his own plans and wants to sell it for cash to by land in Mississippi that their family once worked as slaves. The Piano Lesson is an intimate story of a brother and sister struggle to embrace or deny the epic inheritance.

I know we all have busy schedules, but I would encourage you all to block out three hours of your time to catch this production. It's worth it. Performances runTuesday through Saturday and start at 8 p.m until February 19, 2011. You can also catch a matinee at  2 p.m. on Saturdays. This Saturday has a cast talk back after the 2 p.m. show (I also highly recommend staying for this too.). For tickets call the box office at 203.432.1234 or purchase online at


ChaChanna said...

Seriously Aaliyah, if it weren't for you. I probably wouldn't remember the theatre.

I never read this play but I did read Fences and enjoyed it.

Thanks for sharing your experience and hope you are done with your sinus infection soon.

dirtywater22 said...


Thanks. Live theatre is still will its at for me. I just wish my pockets were deep enough so I could see more of it.