Sunday, October 09, 2005

John Amos, "General Fitzwallace", Starring in New Jersey Play

From the Asbury Park Press:
"Newark native John Amos, best known for TV's "Good Times," "Roots" and "The West Wing," will star as Solly Two Kings, a former slave and Underground Railroad pilot and one of the characters trying to deal with the meaning and reality of freedom in 1904.
As for [August] Wilson, Amos said: "I have rededicated myself to my profession as a way of honoring him."
"This is the highest tribute we can pay him, our appreciation for his superlative writing, his incomparable writing," said Amos, 65, who lives in Hunterdon County. "Quite frankly, I've never experienced writing like this before, except for "Fences,' something that addresses me as an individual, addresses me as a black man and addresses the history of the African-American culture and the African-American experience in this country.
"August Wilson's words will stand. He will never die. His words will surpass all generations."

Amos said he he feels a special affinity for Solly Two Kings, who hails from Alabama, because he himself spent alternate summers in Birmingham with his mother's relatives.
The train ride from Newark to Alabama was an uneasy one, Amos said.
"I remember as a child . . . feeling a very strange feeling to be passing the nation's Capitol, look out the window and see the White House at the same time the conductor was telling us: "All black people, all you colored folks, get to the back.' As a result, Amos said, the struggle these characters face as they negotiate the concept of "freedom" in 1904 "resonates with me (in a way) that transcends my involvement with any sitcom . . . It's very personal to me.""

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