Consequently, implicit in the question of legacy are those of vengeance, debt, and reparation across the generations. The two characters primarily confronting these questions are Berniece and Boy Willie. Whereas Boy Willie would sell the piano in the name of his future, a future that would avenge his ancestors and secure his success, Berniece clings to the heirloom in memory of the blood that stains its wood.
Author, theater and opera critic "The Piano Lesson" Review: August Wilson's Ghost Story Haunts Anew The ghosts that haunt August Wilson's great play The Piano Lesson have hovered in the American psyche for centuries now, and as an admirable new staging at the Pershing Square Signature Center makes clear, neither time nor sorcery can ever completely exorcize them.
Written as part of his play cycle covering the evolution of black America through the 20th century, Wilson set The Piano Lesson in when the country was still struggling through the Great Depression and countless black Americans were migrating north with dreams of casting off the yoke of subservience they still wore 70 years after Emancipation.
The central conflict of the play swirls around the old upright piano of the title, an heirloom instrument with carved figures on the front and sides, and whether it should be sold to buy the land in Mississippi its owners' forebears once worked as slaves.
Wilson was a brilliant, poetic writer, and The Piano Lesson which won the Pulitzer Prize, is one of the richest in his cycle, both in language and lore. It is also the play in which he most directly deals with the issue of slavery and the burden it casts on black Americans striving for social and economic equality.
The dialogue is often so lyrical it could almost be sung, and the actual music in the play ranges from old-time Boogie-Woogie to a foot-stomping rendition of an old Negro field song. Piano Lesson opens with the arrival from Mississippi of Boy Willie and his friend Lymon at his Uncle Doaker's house in Pittsburgh with a truckload of watermelons they hope to sell.
But Boy Willie has bigger plans. He also wants to sell the old piano he and his sister Berniece inherited and use the money to buy some farmland that has just become available with the death of James Sutter, whose family once owned his ancestors.
But Berniece refuses to even consider the proposition. The history of the piano is steeped in violence - "thieving and killing, thieving and killing," Berniece says - and it is the legacy of all that bloodshed that makes the piano so valuable, either as a treasured keepsake or as an item for sale.
The piano was first purchased by the original Sutter plantation owner for his wife. The price was one and a half slaves, meaning one adult and one child, and the coin Sutter used to buy it was Boy Willie's and Berniece's great grandmother and her young son.
Sutter's wife loved the piano, but she missed seeing her two slaves, so Sutter told their great grandfather, a woodworker, to carve his wife's and son's faces on the front of it. But he didn't stop there. He added likenesses of the whole family tree on the sides of the piano.
The brothers carried it by wagon to some relatives in the next county, but Boy Charles hopped a boxcar on the old Yellow Dog railway.
Some men - no one knows who for sure - stopped the train and set the boxcar on fire, burning him and some hobos to death inside. Since then, every suspicious death of a white man in the county has been blamed on the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog.
The Sutter whose land Boy Willie now wants to buy died by falling down a well, and the gossip is that he was pushed by those same ghosts. The play turns more ominous when Berniece sees Sutter's own ghost at the house in Pittsburgh.
As always with a Wilson play, there are several subplots: Avery, an elevator operator who wants to become a preacher, is wooing Berniece; Lymon, who is on the run from a work farm back home, wants to stay in Pittsburgh and find a wife; Wining Boy, Doaker's washed-up musician of a brother, is mourning the death of his lady love.
A fine cast under Ruben Santiago-Hudson's taut direction brings all these characters vividly to life.Ergogan August 21, at pm. 8,23,13,10,10,11,42,21,2,13,26,2.
a street musician stranded in a cold place who hasn’t eaten for days.
Wanted to play until his death like a true artist, self-proclaimed “king of love music”, he reconsidered his career after his first live when a bunch of angry “fans” wanted to shove his guitar in a hole that decency prevents me from naming.
African American composer and musicologist Olly Woodrow Wilson, Jr. (September 7, March 13, ) entered the world of music early, performing in jazz and R&B bands as a teenager and playing backup for such noted artists as Chuck Berry.
A professor at UC Berkeley, Wilson composed works for chamber ensembles and Founded: Sep 18, Apr 22, · Maggie Wilson says: April 23, at am I think that “the first draft will suck” lesson can be applied to so many other aspects of our life – we (at least most of us) are not born with the ability to play piano, to paint, to write a novel, yet somehow, we get it stuck in our heads that we should be able to.
The Occult Review (UK Edn) (incorporating 'The London Forum' Sept to April ) London Ralph Shirley. Mar 06, · Official video of Massive Attack performing Unfinished Sympathy from the album Blue Lines.
Category Music; a suggested video will automatically play next. Up next Massive Attack. A contemporary review of a play I did not see: Come In Razor Red - broadcast 14th February starring Richard Harris Script: Rod Serling Director: Alvin Rakoff A review by G Taylor- "Mud, shells, mortars, blood and guts figured prominently in a razor sharp play by .