Preview: Gulfshore Playhouse kicks off 2021-22 season with August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf’

The title of August Wilson’s “Radio Golf” may be perplexing, but the dilemma crystal-clear. Urban renewal is firing up the bulldozer to plow under cultural landmarks in the name of (choose one): better environment, safer city, beautification — or just plain profit. 

This time, Black developers Harmond Wilks and Roosevelt Hicks stand at the center of those plans, and stakes are high for both. It fits into mayoral candidate Wilks’ hope for all the best reasons, and into Hicks’ for the money. But a holdout at 1839 Wylie Avenue is forcing them to make a decision: raze the house on a legal technicality they’ve discovered, or give the Federalist brick dowager the respect it deserves. 

The play opening at Gulfshore Playhouse this weekend may sound painfully familiar to locals watching ownership changes play out at the historically Black River Park. At the same time, it addresses a conflict endemic to every city across America: Who wins if our neighborhoods are subverted into shiny income wells for moneyed chains? 

Harriet Howard Heithaus, Naples Daily News

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