THEATER

August Wilson's Fences Returns to Broadway

Twenty-three years after it seemed to sweep every major prize in the theater world, August Wilson’s Fences is set to become a favorite for a new generation of theater critics. Boasting sterling performances from Denzel Washington, as the former Negro League ballplayer turned sanitation worker Troy Maxson, and Viola Davis as his wife, the revival had big shoes to fill when it hit Broadway at the Cort Theater on Monday night. The first time around, Maxson was brilliantly portrayed by James Earl Jones. But Washington delivers a more human performance, according to Ben Brantley of The New York Times, something a little more distant from the world of tragedy. “Registering troubled ambivalence has always been Mr. Washington’s great strength as a screen actor (including in his Oscar-winning Training Day),” Brantley writes, “and he uses that gift to redefine Troy on his own terms.”