REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Jitney” Opened with a ShowScore of 88

Show-Score | Jan 20, 2017
“Jitney.” written by August Wilson and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, opened on January 19, 2017 in New York City. “Jitney.” written by August Wilson and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, opened on January 19, 2017 in New York City.


23 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 86.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 95
Conversation sings and swings, bends and bounces and hits heaven smack in the clouds, in the glorious new production of August Wilson’s 'Jitney'...Acted by an impeccably tuned ensemble...There’s no way a theatergoer can watch 'Jitney' without feeling the pulsing, defiant aliveness of every character onstage...Conversation becomes performance art, and part of the pleasure of watching this peerless cast is the delight its characters take in listening to the others riffing."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 85
"Thoughtful and heartrending production...A deeply satisfying drama that leaves us grappling with these issues as they pertain to the present day...Unfortunately, Dirden is miscast, appearing entirely too comfortable and hale for a man who has just been released from two decades behind bars...Luckily, great performances outnumber mediocre ones in this stellar revival, which has been directed with loving attention to detail by Ruben Santiago-Hudson."
David Cote
Time Out New York
ShowScore: 85
"A soul-sustaining, symphonic piece by a late, great master, about fathers and sons, workers and their dreams—deliverance for audiences hungry for soaring language and tough truths. Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson steers a powerhouse cast through the dense alleyways and along the majestic avenues of Wilson’s language...It’s not driven by plot so much as the impulses and chemistry of the characters. And they have been incarnated to perfection by a great group."

“Jitney” was also reviewed by Vicki Hyman of The Star-Ledger (, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Linda Winer of Newsday, Samuel L. Leiter of Theatre's Leiter Side, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, Edward Rothstein of The Wall Street Journal, Maya Stanton of Entertainment Weekly, Wendy Caster of Show Showdown, Nicole Serratore of The Stage (UK), Roma Torre of NY1, Elyse Sommer of CurtainUp, Steven Suskin of The Huffington Post, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Matt Windman of AM New York, Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK), and Marilyn Stasio of Variety.


The show was also reviewed by 76 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 89.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Masterful, Intense

StinkyLulu, ShowScore: 90
See it if…"You want to see an expert performance of one of Wilson's lesser-known works; if you want to see a brilliant, charismatic cast get down to it." 
Don't see it if…"You don't like plays where the characters talk a lot; if you need plot-churning conflict."
Ellen 26, ShowScore: 86
See it if…"You want to see a show set in a 1970s gypsy-cab 'jitney' company. Effectively deals with a host of issues and relationships, interpersonal and family." 
Don't see it if…"You need a fast-paced or flashy show. This takes place in one room and starts out slowly, but soon picks up wielding a lot of emotions."
Richard 6212, ShowScore: 89
See it if…"You want to see Wilson's first full-length play get a four-star treatment with Santiago-Hudson's solid direction and great ensemble work led by Thompson and Potts."
Don't see it if…"Wilson was still finding his voice and technique; a little talky and diffuse with a rather awkward ending, but the staging and cast create theatrical magic."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.