I just saw the last play August Wilson ever wrote, and we need to have a conversation about it.
By Andrew Andrews
Real estate mogul Harmond Wilks is about to announce his candidacy to become Pittsburgh’s first black mayor, and his wife, Mame, is preparing his speech for publication in the local paper.
Through their Bedford Hills Development Corporation, the Wilks’s also plan to revitalize Pittsburgh’s most distressed neighborhood, replacing its abandoned buildings with high-rise apartments and a shopping center that includes Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and of course a Starbucks.
Only one thing stands in the way: a “crazy” guy named Old Joe says that one of the properties they’re about to demolish is his family home, and he’s going to fix it up for his daughter to live in.
Harmond’s second-in-command, Roosevelt Hicks, isn’t about to let some “raggedy-ass, rodent-infested, unfit-for-human-habitation eyesore” stand in the way of their project—so he kicks Old Joe to the curb until he can produce a deed that proves the property is rightfully his.
Meanwhile, Wilks’ former grade school bully, Sterling Johnson, shows up at the office in search of a construction job. The reformed convict claims to be a member of the carpenter’s union, but when Wilks looks into hiring him, the facts just don’t add up.
Nominated for both Tony and Outer Critics Circle awards for its 2007 Broadway premiere, Radio Golf was August Wilson’s final play, succumbing to liver cancer in 2005.
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The Book of Will
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