“They about to drive me crazy,” says one character in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. “Who don’t know where the other one is or went or ain’t going or is going and this one’s dead and this one’s dying and who shot who and who sung what song.” The woman who says that is offering up a dazed recap of a day in which a promising blues guitarist was killed, in a play that begins Jubilee Theatre’s 2016 season.
Set in 1948, the tragicomedy is part of Wilson’s famed Pittsburgh Cycle of 10 plays, each set during a different decade of the 20th century. The murder victim’s funeral takes place at the beginning, but the play flashes back to scenes from his life and illustrates how his early death was brought about by police harassment, predatory music executives, and the thwarted dreams of his own friends as they look to escape their own poverty in the midst of America’s prosperity after World War II. This blues lament for the factors and racism that cuts short so many a promising black life in America figures to be as timely as the troupe’s other recent shows have been in these parlous times.
Seven Guitars runs Thu-Feb 28 at Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St, FW. Tickets are $20-32. Call 817-338-4411.