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SPOTLIGHT: SAN DIEGO ARTS

Theater

January 13, 1988|NANCY CHURNIN

- August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone," which will play Feb. 4 to March 13 at the Old Globe, has all of two weeks to ready itself for a Broadway opening March 27. That means that what Globe audiences see should be pretty much what Broadway audiences get.

"Joe Turner" is the third of four plays Wilson has written in his planned series about the black experience in America, each covering a different decade. Recently called one of the 10 best plays of 1987 by Time magazine, the play, which takes place in 1911, is based on a real person--the brother of the governor of Tennessee--who tricked blacks into involuntary servitude.

Lloyd Richards, the artistic director of the Yale Repertory Theatre, who has shepherded all of the plays in this series to date, will be directing "Joe Turner" here and on Broadway.

Last year, Richards and Wilson picked up best play and best direction Tonys for Wilson's "Fences," which also won Wilson a Pulitzer Prize. "Fences," which is still running on Broadway, takes place from 1957--65; "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is set in 1927; and "The Piano Lesson," newly opened at the Yale Rep, in 1936.

"Joe Turner" comes to the Globe with the same cast that recently played at the Arena Stage in Washington, with the exception of the parts of the two teen-agers. Those roles are being cast with local talent.

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