Via TNC, Denzel says of the ladies who come to watch August Wilson’s Fences:
“There are all these women coming to see me, to see this actor they like, and I appreciate that,” he said. “But at some shows, women are carrying on and snickering too much. Like at our Mother’s Day performance. Some audience members wouldn’t stop talking during an Act II speech. So I walked down to the front of the stage and stared at them, silently, for 30 seconds. They stopped, and I went on.”
I dunno, something about Denzel-the-schoolteacher rubs me the wrong way. He acknowledges that these women are coming to the show to see him, but complains that they don’t know how to act. I think he’s missing the fact that as a hugely famous movie star, he’s kind of untouchable, but being on stage breaks that down a bit.
Then again, as I do sort of think he’s responsible for the behavior of the people who are clearly attending to see him, maybe he did all he could do in that situation.
Also, and I haven’t seen any of Wilson’s work, so I don’t know about the veracity of this, but a friend says that Wilson plays are like Shakespeare, in that you can’t just show up knowing your lines. Apparently, you have to be trained, and there are black theater companies around the country who do this, day in and day out. Washington has a rather limited history on stage, although being nominated for a Tony is a pretty good sign. Has anyone seen Fences, with or without him? Thoughts?