We saw it last night. Here's a plot summary (borrowed from The Goodman Theater's website):
"Aunt Ester's house at 1839 Wylie Avenue is scheduled for demolition to make way for Bedford Hills, a slick new real estate venture designed to revive Pittsburgh's depressed Hill District--and boost Harmond Wilks' chances of becoming the city's first black mayor.The play was very strong, but I have been stopping short of raving about it. The entire two hours of the script took place in a single room. I felt the script demanded that the characters confront the physical house in some way. They never did. I also felt like the script contained a lot of explaining and reminiscing, which kept the characters at a bit of an arm's length. I couldn't really get engaged in their world. I could only sit back and be told about it.
But first, the government must declare the historic neighborhood blighted, unleashing federal money for its development. All goes according to plan until a mysterious stranger, claiming ownership of the house, forces Wilks to reconsider his path to success."
Nonetheless, the importance of many of the issues it touched upon can't be denied. The acting was superb, and the staging was over-the-top. It felt meaningful to see the issues of development vs. demolition brought to the stage in this way, and I thought Wilson gave both sides a fair shake. He's equivocal on his resolution, and I was grateful for it.
Photo courtesy of The Goodman Theater.